Vice-President for Africa, World Bank, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili
By Kunle Aderinokun
Vice-President for Africa, World Bank, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, has resigned from the Bretton Woods institution, after five years of meritorious service. Her resignation takes effect from the first week of May.
The World Bank President, Mr. Robert Zoelick, who made this known in a letter made available to THISDAY, said Ezekwesili would be back to Nigeria after “five years of important and successful service to the bank and Africa”.
Zoelick said he had to delay the exit of Ezekwesili, who was a two-time minister when former President Olusegun Obasanjo held sway, by one year, to enable her implement the new strategy, “Africa’s Future and World Bank support to It,“ that “she did so much to develop”.
“Ezekwesili will be succeeded by Makhtar Diop, a Senegalese national, who has been the Country Director for Brazil since 2009. Diop is expected to resume on May 5. Zoelick gave no reason for her resignation but extolled her virtue.
According to him, “Under Oby’s leadership, our Africa team employed innovation, knowledge, partnership and financial services to strengthen results across Africa and to improve the prospects for Africa’s economic performance.
“Her close attention to the needs of our clients, engagement with African leadership and with regional institutions -- such as the African Union, EAC and ECOWAS - as well as with the UN and other partners, has helped us to leverage our effectiveness across Africa.
“Oby has done excellent work mobilising private sector engagement and better connecting Africa’s development to that of other regions, particularly through South-South partnerships.”
Zoelick added: “Oby has built a strong team across the range of the Bank’s work: infrastructure and human development; agricultural production and productivity; private sector development; economic reforms to overcome poverty; and governance and accountability.
“Reflecting her experience and background, Oby has been a relentless campaigner for transparency and against corruption. She has also led in the use of ICT for Development; in supporting social accountability mechanisms through civil society engagement; and in promoting innovative approaches to regional integration.
“The new Bank strategy for Africa and its implementation plan, both developed under Oby’s leadership, offer a strong legacy. I also appreciate Oby’s close work with IFC and MIGA, underscoring the interconnectivity across the World Bank Group to achieve better and more far-reaching impact.”
The World Bank President wished Ezekwesili “all the best in her future endeavours working with civil society, in which she will help to strengthen public sector capacity, and work especially with young people and women”.
“I am especially appreciative of her committed and devoted service - including the years spent away from her family,” he added.