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Okonjo-Iweala ‘ready’ to be first female president of the World Bank in 74 years

Okonjo-Iweala ‘ready’ to be first female president of the World Bank in 74 years

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Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, two-time finance minister and former vice-president of the World Bank, says she is ready to lead the World Bank if nominated for the job.

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Okonjo-Iweala, who contested against Jim Yong Kim, the outgoing president, said many people have been asking if she would take the job.

“I know that, because I contested the last time in 2012, and many people were asking that question. It is a shareholder’s decision and they have to decide how they want it. Someone has to nominate,” she said.

“If the right person were to nominate, and if the circumstances are right and people feel I can do the job, yes.”

The GAVI boss was asked by CNN’s Richard Quest, if she has declared her candidacy, which she answered no.

“No I have not declared my candidacy, you asked a hypothetical question and I answered it fairly. I’m very happy right now, and I just want you to know that I’m enjoying life for a change for a portfolio of what I like.”

In 2012, Okonjo-Iweala was one of the top three persons for the job, alongside the outgoing president, Jim Kim and Jose Antonio Ocampo, Columbian finance minister.

If she is nominated for the job, and eventually voted into office, Okonjo-Iweala will be the first female to lead the bank in 74 years.

She would also be the first non-American and African to lead the World Bank in such capacity.

In the build up to the election in 2012, she said the World Bank presidency has always gone to the US candidate, since it was founded over 70 years ago.

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