BY CAROLINE AMOSUN
The President of African Development Bank Group, Akinwumi Adesina, has congratulated former MasterCard CEO, Ajay Banga, for his election as head of the World Bank Group, saying he looks forward to working together with him to tackle current global challenges, including climate change.
Banga, 63, was confirmed by the World Bank’s board of governors on Wednesday to serve a five-year term as the 14th president, from June 2. He succeeds David Malpass, who announced his resignation last February.
Adesina said: “Congratulations, my dear friend Ajay Banga on your confirmation as president of the World Bank Group – I look forward to our working closely together to deliver greater impacts for Africa and the world.”
Banga’s election comes at a critical moment of overlapping global challenges marked by emerging debt distress in lower- and middle-income countries, particularly in Africa, which is heavily impacted by climate change, Covid-19 pandemic and disruptions in food and energy markets due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Following his nomination for the World Bank job, Banga undertook a global tour in March.
He first stopped at the African Development Bank Group’s headquarters in Abidjan, where he met Adesina and advocated for a strong partnership with the continent’s premier development institution.
During that meeting, Banga and Adesina agreed to work together to deliver transformative results for Africa. They also highlighted the role of the private sector in mobilizing much-needed capital resources for significant economic development.
Banga highlighted three global issues that he said were of significant concern to him; inequality; tension between humanity and nature; and the tendency to apply short-term solutions to long-term problems which only delivers poor results.
He recognized that the world’s challenges got complicated because of the Covid-19 pandemic, environmental degradation, and the impact of the Russia-Ukraine War.