Tuesday April 24, 2012/ Ayodele Aminu/African Liberty
Developing countries including Nigeria are no longer candidates for charity and aid from developing countries, the World Bank has said. The outgoing World Bank President, Robert Zoellick, disclosed this at the on-going International Monetary Fund/World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington DC, United States of America. Specifically, he said since the “developing countries have provided two-thirds of global growth over the past years, these are no longer charity cases.”
Noting that developing countries “are vital to the world economy,” Zoellick, whose five-year tenure elapses on June 30, this year, nonetheless, stressed the need for both developing and developed countries to focus on structural reforms that will be the drivers of future growth, “otherwise the world will keep stumbling along.” In Sub-Saharan Africa, the World Bank chief said the countries must work to remove barriers to the great economic potential of the region and seek to achieve regional integration, which he said is the way to go.
Giving an appraisal of his tenure, Zoellick said: ”Our initiatives for open information, open data, and open access to knowledge may turn out to be the most important legacy of the past five years.” The outgoing World Bank boss noted that he took over the World Bank presidency at a crisis period and his tenure has had three phases starting from a turnaround from trouble times. He said about $250 trillion have been spent is support of countries across the globe for food, fuel and to mitigate financial crisis. In addition, he disclosed that modernisation of the Bank for the future was initiated during his tenure.
This, he said, is in addition to the first large recapitalisation of the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) in over 20 years, and two record-breaking International Development Association (IDA) replenishments totaling more than $90 billion with an AAA rating.
Speaking on the effects of the Arab spring, Zoellick said the Tunisians’economy is under severe stress since the country lost a lot to the uprising; just as Libya now needs capacity to build its enormous resources. He noted that the North African economies’ transformation is going to take a while. On his successor, Zoellick said: “I think he will do a great job”and wished him and others success.”
Earlier in his congratulation message, Zoellick, said: “Jim has seen poverty and vulnerability first hand, through his impressive work in developing countries. and his rigorous science-based drive for results will be invaluable for the World Bank Group as it modernises to better serve client countries in overcoming poverty.