Colour me biased – I want Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on that World Bank President seat!
My decision has not come without reason – in fact I have many reasons. Some of them are based on sentiments, I accept, but it’s a free society right?
I’ll put the sentimental reason at the top, so you can scowl at me and calm down to read the more critical bits of my thinking 🙂
1. She is a woman, she is African and she is a Nigerian.
Yup! I said it.
To the woman with big dreams and plans for a great future, Aunty Ngozi would be our personal Obama-Story. It is no news that women in the work place, or even as entrepreneurs, usually feel they have to work twice as hard or even more to earn a clearly merited spot on the ladder – the academia is not exempt.
As for being Nigerian, well i’ll be frank and unashamed. With the kind of news that has been filtering out of the country – Boko Haram, kidnappings and killings, Nigeria could do with a reason to smile again since 2012.
Alright, let’s pocket the hanky and reason together!
2. She clearly merits the position.
Positions are usually earned based on qualifications and experience. Aunty Ngozi ticks those boxes better than her running mates by spades. So I ask, what could possibly be limiting her…? My answer would be buried in an African proverb, and it goes; it is not from my mouth you’ll hear that the king’s mother is a witch.
She is an Economics and Development expert (exactly what the world bank stands for), with a PhD from MIT in Regional Economics and Development. Experience-wise, she’s been with the World Bank for so long, served as a Minister, returned to the World Bank and is currently serving as a Minister again. If she wasn’t getting something right, I don’t see why her expertise would be so sought after.
Until the Occupy Nigeria fuel crisis where she clearly fell off the good books of a lot of Nigerians, who expressed shock at her support for the removal of the fuel subsidy, she made everyone happy. I respect her because it’s tough to maintain not just your integrity, but your image of integrity, when you need to work among wolves. The removal of fuel subsidy would not have been an issue, if people trusted that the proceeds would be ploughed back into the society, and not carted off shore.
My respect for her officially kicked off when I followed how she managed Nigeria’s debt crisis under Obasanjo’s regime. I was a journalist at the Finance Desk of a newspaper house – so I knew what was going on.
Make we bone yarns* This woman is GOOD at what she does – and she would make me proud in that position.
3. For once, a developing nation would lead its development
I would open with another proverb here – it is the person wearing the shoe that knows where it pinches.
In essence, true development only comes to societies that make it happen for themselves by themselves. The support may come from without- but the actual development activity and initiative has to come from the people. Now, the challenge usually lies in the fact that the crucial support comes with directives for usage – who wouldn’t put his/her mouth where his/her money is.
However, if the piper is someone who understands the kind of tune that needs to be played, she could call the exact tune developing societies have been craving to hear – and the globe would be one big happy family. If Africa is happy, China would be happy. If China is happy, America should be happy – globalisation right?
What I am saying is that Aunty Ngozi understands development needs more than any of the contestants – and if the world bank wants to be true to its mission statement – selecting a candidate is a no-brainer.
Whatever the results churn out, I would always be proud of Aunty Ngozi, because she is an inspiration to me!
Have a fab weekend!
Make we bone yarns* – Translation – let’s not beat about the bush.
Photo Credit: The Economist