Thursday, February 16, 2012

Change At The Top Of The World Bank

After 5 years in charge, Robert Zoellick is stepping down:

World Bank President Zoellick to Step Down June 30th

Zoellick Says World Bank Strong, Healthy and Well Positioned for New Challenges

WASHINGTON, February 15, 2012 – World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick announced today he would step down at the end of a five-year term in which a transformed Bank played an historic role during the global economic crisis, using record replenishments to provide more than $247 billion to help developing countries boost growth and overcome poverty.

After the disaster that was the Wolfowitz presidency, the worst that can be said about Zoellick’s time at the World Bank is that he was uncontroversial – at best, that he did a great job in reforming the institution and leading it through the Great Recession. As much as I’ve criticised the World Bank in the past – they’re still too enamoured of the big bang approach to development – things are changing and for the better. How much of that is due to Zoellick, and how much to changes in social and political attitudes, I don’t know. But an engaged World Bank, preferably one that will listen as much as it lectures, is a powerful instrument for development.

Here’s hoping they pick someone just as good to take over.

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