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World Bank makes Diop first African to head IFC

BY: Bloomberg
Mr Makhtar Diop
Mr Makhtar Diop

The World Bank Group has named longtime Vice- President, Mr Makhtar Diop, to head the International Finance Corporation (IFC), making him the first African to lead the development lender’s arm for the private sector.

IFC is an arm of the World Bank Group that advances economic development and improves the lives of people by encouraging growth of the private sector in developing countries.

Mr Diop, currently serving as the World Bank’s vice- president for infrastructure, takes over the IFC at the beginning of March, President David Malpass said in a statement last Thursday.

He will help the World Bank to “continue our rapid response to the global crisis and help build a green, resilient, inclusive recovery,” Mr Malpass said.

“Makhtar Diop has deep development and finance experience and a career of energetic leadership and service to developing countries in both public and private sectors. Makhtar’s skills at IFC will help the World Bank Group continue our rapid response to the global crisis and help build a green, resilient, inclusive recovery.

“We need business climates and thriving businesses that attract investment, create jobs and foster the scaling up of low carbon electricity and transportation, clean water, infrastructure, digital services, and the wide range of development success that are key to our mission of poverty reduction and shared prosperity,” he said.

The Washington-based World Bank expects to deploy as much as $160 billion in grants and financial support over 15 months through June to help countries deal with the health, economic and social shocks from the global pandemic.

Mr Diop spent six years as the World Bank’s vice-president for Africa, where he oversaw a major expansion of the lender’s work and a record $70 billion in commitments. He previously worked as a country director for Brazil and for Kenya, Eritrea and Somalia, the World Bank said. He is also a former economy and finance minister of Senegal.

Philippe Le Houerou, the previous head of the IFC, left at the end of September. — Bloomberg