21st October 2021
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Jim Young Kim has resigned his position as the head of World Bank two days ago and this news sent shocking waves to the international development world. His resignation came before the expiry of his tenure in 2022 and he has given personal reasons for his decision.

As expected, there will be a search for a new president given that this resignation was impromptu. Personally, I think the next president should come from a developing country given that the World Bank has been deeply involved in the financing of projects across Asia and Africa. The Bank has also been at the forefront of promoting policies and agenda that other development agencies tend to follow. Not only that, the Bank has received criticisms in the past for the direct failures of many projects and indirectly some economic policies of countries affected.

Since the World Bank has assumed the role of a financial partner, it needs as head someone who understands the intricacies and nuances of both worlds – developed and developing. Someone who can stand on the cross road of both worlds yet be able to take the Bank down each path not as a stranger but as a familiar friend. That person who will bring a new and fresh look to the Bank removing the sometimes negative perception that it’s an agent of Washington set up to promote solely the ideas of the United States. In addition, I think it will help the Bank understand the cultures of countries better so as to know which projects might work and which might not just work. It sometimes helps that understanding sociocultural and historical norms will better shape the kinds of policies formulated and promoted.

Ides Ofune

Ides Ofune is currently a PhD Student at the University of Leeds. Her research focuses on civil society and accountability in improving the quality of education. She is the founder of Desert Bloom Initiative and editor of Desert Bloom Advisory. Ides is very passionate about education and creating an inclusive society. She speaks French and English fluently. She can be reached at info@desertbloomadvisory.com