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World Bank: Okonjo-Iweala to feature at CGD/Washington Post session

Abuja—Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, will feature in a series of sessions for World Bank  presidential candidates in Washington today. The organiser of the sessions, CGD, a Washington D.C.-based think-tank, said the three candidates – Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, José Antonio Ocampo and Jim Yong Kim, have all been invited.

However, only Okonjo-Iweala and Ocampo have so far accepted to attend, the group said.

The organisers, CGD, in collaboration with the Washington Post, said that at each session, candidates were expected to deliver opening remarks, followed by a discussion and questions from an audience, including members of the media.

“The events will be streamed globally on the Internet via the CGD Website and Washington Post Live and will include questions for the candidates from around the world sent via e-mail and Twitter,” the CGD said.

Interviews to select a new president of the World Bank are scheduled to hold from April 9 to April 11 in Washington D.C. Global civil groups have called on the bank’s Executive Directors to ensure that the three candidates debate publicly with each other as part of the selection process.

Meanwhile, some observers expressed concern that so far, there had not been any public forum where the candidates could explain their vision for the bank’s future and be questioned by the media.

Meanwhile , the candidacy of Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the World Bank Group Presidency has been described as “manifestly superior” to any other.

Prof. Ade Adefuye, Nigeria’s Ambassador to the U.S., said this in New York on Sunday in an interview with the North America Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

He said following the endorsement of Okonjo-Iweala’s candidacy by the African Union (AU), a meeting of the African Ambassadors to the U.S. was summoned and was attended by all Ambassadors.

Adefuye said the meeting was also attended by ambassadors from other developing countries “where I spoke as much as I knew about the African candidate.

“As far as the condition of the post is concerned and quality is concerned, Okonjo-Iweala is above other candidates.”

The envoy urged other ambassadors to appeal to the conscience of the world that it was time to emphasise quality and qualification, rather than politics in the selection of the Bank’s president.

He said he had met the Ambassador of Jamaica to drum support for the Minister, adding that plans had been concluded to meet the Group of Caribbean Ambassadors to make the same point.


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