Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Annual Meeting of the World Bank/International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC, USA last week, Aganga, who is the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Bank, expressed optimism about the ‘resourcefulness’of the economies of these developing countries in the aftermath of the global financial crisis in 2008.
“It is possible that African lions such as Ghana and Nigeria with its six percent GDP growth last year and a robust GDP growth of 7.4 percent in the first half of this year, could rival the Asia Tigers and the big four- Brazil, Russia, India and China in the near future. In fact, this could be the defining decade for some emerging and developing economies,” he said.
Aganga, who chairs the 2010 annual meetings, called for more World Bank funding to be channelled towards the development of projects in poor countries despite challenges posed by the global economic crisis.
“Vulnerable populations of the poorest countries experienced setbacks that could stall progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Addressing poverty remains a challenge for development,” he said.
The Nigerian Finance Minister lauded the on-going governance reforms at the World Bank and IMF, which had led to the approval of an additional seat for sub-Saharan Africa on the 25-member executive board of the institution.
He said the reforms would “enhance the legitimate and effectiveness” of Africa in the institution by giving it more voting power.
African countries had consistently demanded for greater representation on the boards of IMF and World Bank. Europe has 10 seats on boards but Africa, which receives almost half of all loans from the two bodies, has only two.
In a speech, the World Bank President Robert Zoellick said the new chair for Sub-Saharan Africa on the Board would take effect from November 1, 2010, noting that the new representation would ensure increased diversity in management.
The Annual General Meeting of the IMF and the World Bank Group bring together major players in the financial sector to discuss issues of global concern.
The meeting, which began on Friday with over 120 member countries of the World Bank in attendance, officially ended on Sunday, October 10 2010.
Source:Washington DC, USA