The World Bank says its Sub-Saharan Africa Regional portfolio will now be managed by two Vice Presidents, covering Western and Central Africa, and Eastern and Southern Africa, respectively.
The Bank said in a statement, on Wednesday, said that the realignment, considered as a sign of its strong commitment to Africa, would take effect from July 1.
It explained that this year, the World Bank was expected to lend about $50 billion to 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, which significantly more than any other region and making up about one-third of its entire portfolio.
The bank added that these financing volumes were almost double what the region delivered ten years back.
It explained that the portfolio included projects and programmes in agriculture, trade and transport, energy, education, health, water and sanitation.
According to the bank, the growth in financing to fragile states has been even higher with about two-thirds of its financing to fragile states happening in Africa.
It, however, stated that the region had been led since 2018 by Hafez Ghanem, who just took on the role of Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa.
“The creation of an additional Vice Presidency Unit is part of the World Bank Group’s continuous efforts to align resources with priorities.
“This will help drive the reforms and policies needed to achieve sustained and broad-based growth, alleviate poverty and raise living standards for people on the continent,’’ the statement read in part.
It announced that Ousmane Diagana became Vice President for Western and Central Africa as from Wednesday, July 1.
The statement quoted Diagana as saying “I am honoured to lead the bank’s efforts in West and Central Africa, with a strong focus on innovation, impact and transformation.
“Working together with Hafez, I know we can and will do more to put countries and people first and find ways to confront today’s development challenges, using all of the tools at our disposal’’.
The bank further stated that Diagana’s appointment came as it was looking to strengthen the delivery of its Africa programme and further improve its operational focus on regional portfolios to better support the transformational improvements that were possible in Africa.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
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