Nigeria: Keystone of Africa

Nigeria’s Finance Minister

“For the first time since the 1967-70 civil war, Nigerians in all parts of the country—not only in the north—are questioning whether their country can hold together.”  – Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan

Perhaps we can then draw some positives from last Monday’s World Bank election.  Africa’s “Iron Lady”, Nigeria’s esteemed Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, lost her bid to become the first non-American President of the World Bank.  That might be a good outcome after-all because Nigeria needs to keep strong leaders like Okonjo-Iweala—badly.

It is symbolic though that Okonjo-Iweala was the first non-American ever to be nominated for the position (alongside Colombian Finance Minister and economist Jose Antonio Ocampo who removed himself as a candidate to prevent a vote-split).  Perhaps that was enough – the World Bank, notorious for its US-centric policies seems to be finally branching out, giving a voice to those nations it is supposed to aid.  That is indeed a positive development.

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