Official: Ghana nominated economist Jeffrey Sachs for World Bank Presidency

It is now official that Ghana nominated US development economist Professor Jeffrey Sachs to run for the next World Bank President after Robert Zoellick leaves office in June 2012.

But Jeffrey Sachs, who played an instrumental role in the formulation of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), has withdrawn his nomination in support of Jim Yong Kim nominated by US President Barack Obama on Friday. Kim is the former director of the Department of HIV/AIDS at the World Health Organization.

A statement written by Ghana’s Finance and Economic Planning Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffuor and posted on Prof. Sachs’ website March 20, 2012 said “I am writing… to nominate Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs for the Presidency of the World Bank.”

According to Dr Duffuor, in the statement, Professor Sachs has worked closely with the government of Ghana for many years to support our development efforts.

“In 2012 he was appointed Special Advisor on Economic Development and Transformation to President Mills. In this capacity, he advises on Ghana’s rapid sustainable development, including the utilization of Ghana’s new loan from the China Development Bank and the successful implementation of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) initiative, which aims to close the development gap between the North and South,” text of the statement said.

Now that Jeffrey Sachs has withdrawn from the race, it is not clear whether Ghana will endorse the candidacy of Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who is the only African in the three-person race including Colombian national José Antonio Ocampo and the Korean-American Jim Yong Kim as confirmed by the World Bank on Friday March 23, 2012.

Big African economies such as South Africa and Angola have all endorsed Okonjo-Iweala’s candidacy.

The World Bank said it expects selection of the new President “by consensus” by the 2012 Spring Meetings with the International Monetary Fund that begin on April 20.

Full Statement by Dr. Kwabena Duffour, Minister for Finance and Economic Planning of Ghana on Jeffrey Sachs’ nomination

“I am writing… to nominate Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs for the Presidency of the World Bank…. Professor Sachs has worked closely with the government of Ghana for many years to support our development efforts.

In 2012 he was appointed Special Advisor on Economic Development and Transformation to President Mills. In this capacity, he advises on Ghana’s rapid sustainable development, including the utilization of Ghana’s new loan from the China Development Bank and the successful implementation of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) initiative, which aims to close the development gap between the North and South.

In January 2012 he opened a new Millennium Village as part of the SADA initiative and the Millennium Villages Project (MVP), which has pioneered an effective integrated rural development strategy across Africa. The project is partnering with the University for Development Studies, an example of the MVP’s integration of local partnership and knowledge and capacity-building.

The MVP, which Professor Sachs directs, has been working in Ghana since 2006 when the Bonsaaso Millennium Village was launched.

Professor Sachs and his team are also doing extraordinary work in Kumasi and Accra through the Millennium Cities Initiative, which encourages economic and social development through research and initiatives including infrastructure development and gender-focused programs.

His many levels of advising and work are extremely helpful and appreciated by our entire government and by the people of Ghana.”

–Kwabena Duffour, Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Ghana

By Ekow Quandzie

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