News

    Leadership Changes Prompt New Calls for a World Bank Overhaul

    The imminent departure of World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz on June 30, leaves open many questions about the institution’s operating effectiveness.  Many groups are calling for a thorough reassessment of the 63-year-old bank.  Last week, the bank and Mr. Wolfowitz parted ways over an ethics violation for which both parties assumed partial responsibility, but neither acknowledged fault.  Longtime critics, such as the US Network for Global Economic Justice, are renewing their challenges of bank structural health and its staff morale.  Njoki Njehu is the Executive Director of the US Network’s “50 Years is Enough” movement.  She says that the selection process for a successor to Paul Wolfowitz should signal a change in overall bank policy and attitudes toward developing countries.

    “They can find the best president of the World Bank.  I don’t know who that person is.  But there needs to be a change of policy.  There needs to be a change of the attitude of the institution in terms of their know-it-all kind of attitude, where they give governments and countries time to shape their own future.  There needs to be a change, and it can’t be done by one person,” she says.

    Njehu says she does not believe the ouster of Mr. Wolfowitz represents an attack on US interests, even though Washington has traditionally been the power entrusted with naming the president of the bank.

    “It’s not an international attitude towards the United States.  I think there was a lot of agreement, even in the United States, about how poorly qualified Mr. Wolfowitz was, and I think that whoever is the next president of the World Bank, there’s a lot of talk about this being the moment to break the tradition and get someone from the global south.  I think they should be under a great deal of scrutiny, to make sure that they’re both qualified to do the job, but also that they would do the job that needs to be done,” she said.

    Bank critics have charged that former Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz was too closely identified with US government policy to play an objective role in relations at the World Bank.  But Njehu of “50 Years is Enough” says his departure was caused most likely by the perception of corruption at the international institution.

    “I think he was done in by his own corruption.  He did represent the relationship with the Bush Administration.  He was a failed assistant defense secretary, and they rewarded him.  It’s a really messed up system where when you screw up in one position, you are rewarded by being given a bigger job and a bigger profile,” she said.

    The US Network for Global Economic Justice is a coalition of more than 200 US grassroots, women's, solidarity, faith-based, policy, social- and economic-justice, youth, labor and development organizations dedicated to transforming the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).  Executive Director Njehu says an addition of new blood at the helm of the lending institution could help reverse a bank tradition of prosperous societies marshaling resources and dictating terms to help relieve the poverty of disadvantaged, developing nations.

    “I am a very strong believer in that if Africa is going to get out of poverty, it is because they are doing it themselves.  It’s not because of how world administrators and policy makers make decisions because for the most part, people living in London, or in Washington, or in Tokyo for that matter have no idea of what the reality for poor people in Africa is.    I believe that Africa’s future and Africa’s coming out of poverty and impoverishment will be done by Africans themselves.  If it could be done by outsiders, for goodness sake, it would have happened by now,” she says.  

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora