Tag Archives: World Bank

I want to say a big thank you to Antonio Ocampo

I want to say a big thank you to Antonio Ocampo for disregarding his bid for the presidency of the world bank. This leaves the contest between Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala and president Obama‘s nominee, Jim Yong Kim. I wish Oprah could read this and tell me how she feels as an accomplished woman who wept the day the day Obama became president of the United states.

This is not about Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, it is about change for the better, change because it demonstrates openness and transparency, change because it is the right thing to do , change because the US ought to allow for an election to the most important institution in the world, the World Bank to be based on merit and set a remarkable example, change because she is the only non-American female who is qualified and Jim Young‘s experience pales before hers.!!

I do not mean his paper qualification, I mean his experience. EXPERIENCE is what the World Bank needs. The developed world seemed more ready to dump ideas and Aids on Africa rather than make Africa a worthy partner in global governance. This has got to come to a screeching halt because the more developed countries we have in the world, the better for World Bank.

I say to the Europe and and those countries that want to blindly follow president Obama , and especially the US to wake up and have rethink. Please do not set a precedent that you cannot defend before generations born and yet unborn.

The out dated practice of having an American only lead the World Bank and a European lead the IMF is absolute nonsense and has no place in today’s fast paced world anymore. The day Obama became President meant that the Americans saw this: change has come and an American who happens to be white must not occupy the WHITE HOUSE, an African American whose father is from Kenyan is qualified to do so. We see his vision and we are ready to follow him.

 

By Princess Gloria Okojie-fritz

The Case for Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has an unmistakable grain of sociopolitical and economical authenticity. An Igbo woman from Umu Obi Obahai Royal Family of Ogwashi-Ukwu. Okonjo-Iweala was educated at Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude with an A.B. in 1977, and earned her Ph.D. in regional economic development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1981.

Prior to her ministerial career in Nigeria, Okonjo-Iweala left her position as vice-president and corporate secretary of the World Bank Group to join President Obasanjo‘s cabinet as Finance Minister on 15 July 2003, determined to make developing countries play remarkable roles in decisions that affect them instead of being silent observers.

Although some controversy surrounded Okonjo-Iweala’s appointment as Finance Minister, she left that administration at the end of August 2006. On October 4, 2007, World Bank President Robert Zoellick appointed her to the post of Managing Director, effective December 1, 2007.

In 2011, Okonjo-Iweala was reappointed as Minister of Finance with the expanded portfolio of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy by President Goodluck Jonathan. She took a lot of heat, more-so than any other government official for the unpopular fuel subsidy removal policy by the Nigerian government which led to Occupy Nigeria protests in January 2012.

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala left a record of debt-forgiveness, -the only finance minister to have done so. The then senator Obama was very skeptical at the suggestion of debt-forgiveness from the Paris club. She buttressed her opinion with remarkable points and persuasive arguments. The whole was convinced.

This is a woman who poverty motivated to be all she could be; her gender notwithstanding. Obama knows about determination and going for what you believe in, his wife, Mitchell knows that too. I really think president Obama should uphold the American values among which decisions based on merit is one.

CHANGE was the key word President Obama campaigned with. Well, it is time to show that you are ready to change the way the informal agreement which sees an American as the president of the World Bank and a European as the president of the IMF.

This decision has operated since 1940s. Things have changed since then and we all know it. America has block votes in the world bank and America will prove that she is not afraid to say: ‘when the time for change has come, we must bow to it’ This is what your children will be proud of president Obama, this is what your wife as an accomplished woman will be proud of – You stood up to be counted when it mattered the most.

Real power is the ability to retrace your step when no would have been easier. Indeed, it is time that a woman, who is also, a naturalized U.S citizen, an African with a proven track record on international problem-solving skills and happens to be a woman becomes the president of the world bank.

How will you and Mitchell feel if Sasha one day qualified for a position but was told that the position has been informally agreed to be occupied by non-Americans and men? We are talking about her effectively shedding more light on the problems in developing countries.

I believe that she will encourage direct investments, help remove infrastructural problems by enabling funding into infrastructure and above all the electricity problem that has bedeviled Nigeria for so long-popularly referred to as POWER. It is time that Africa as a continent rises.

Nigeria has done so much in terms of securing peace in Africa. We are still faced with challenges even just now. Some international interest groups definitely benefit from the problems of most developing countries. Why can’t we be great as a continent?

Why can’t we be in a position to do business on equal and mutually benefiting terms with the rest of the world? Why must we be notorious for poverty, disease, hunger and underdevelopment? Women have the numerical strength but lack the corresponding positions of higher responsibilities like the men? Men and women are co-partners in governance.

An only woman who is highly qualified in the person of Dr. Ngozi Okojo-Iweala deserves to be the next president of the World Bank.

By Princess Gloria Okojie-Fritz

Leroy Bamidele Fagbemi – An Advocate For People With Disability

Leroy Bamidele Fagbemi, “aka” Mr. Flint” is an American based Nigerian entertainer, born to the Fagbemi family of Lagos. He is also, an advocate for people with disability for a good reason.  Leroy Bamidele Fagbemi, sustained a spinal cord injury from a road accident, late 90’s in the United States (USA), which confined him to the wheel chair, not giving up his dreams, he returned to his first love, music.

As a successful hip hop artist, Mr. Flint is back with good news for the physically challenged, his foundation “Second Chance in Life”  is an organization that is all about helping  people with disabilities to discover their passion and help them achieve their dreams in whatever career they want to pursue. Fagbemi’s  new video “You think my life is easy”  shows a young man, who deals with everyday challenges but not deterred.

In my conversation with Mr. flint, he expressed his frustration with celebrities, artist and governments in Africa for not doing enough to bring awareness about disability, especially in Nigeria, where people with disability are often discriminated against or seen as liabilities. ” Handicaps are humans beings, they do what normal people do, but the difference is that they can’t walk”.

As for any his future projects, Mr. Flint’s goal is to see that the Nigerian Government gets involve in disability awareness campaigns and foundations, provide adequate rehabilitation facilities and infrastructures to ensure that people with any form of disability live a normal life, learn life coping skills and are accepted by society.

He emphasized, how such programs has helped him to become independent. However, Leroy Bamidele Fagbemi, believes that appealing to corporate organizations and Nigerians in the diaspora is key to supporting his pet projects in Nigeria. For more information, contact Mr Flint at http://facebook.com/lfagbemiskinnyjoe

Facts About Disability in Africa

According to The World Bank, 20% of people with disabilities make up the poorest of the poor, which translates to approximately 260 million people with disabilities living in absolute poverty.  The unprecedented level of poverty among this group and the associated hunger leads to Malnutrition, which in turn can result in a number of disabilities, such as stunting, blindness, and diabetes. Also, hunger is a driving force, which push disabled persons into street begging. Generally speaking, disabled people are seen as ‘good for nothing’ and they suffer severe psychological problems in Africa.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that about 500 million people live with disability worldwide, with about 75% living in the developing countries (Mickailakis, 1997; Lang and Upah, 2008). In Nigeria, WHO estimates put the number of people with disability at 19 million or approximately 20% of the country’s population (Lang and Upah, 2008).

There are no credible and robust statistics in Nigeria about most things, including disability. There is therefore a big knowledge gap that needs to be bridged.The Nigerian government supported the UN standard rules on the equalization of opportunities for people with disability. There was also a decree promulgated in 1993 to enhance the social and societal position of people with disability.

Nigerians living with disability are no better off when compared with others living in other parts of the developing world, in terms of the challenges they face — they are poor, marginalized and excluded (The Guardian, April 12, 2009; Lang and Upah, 2008).

Despite the declaration of full participation in the disability agenda of the United Nations by the Nigerian government, Nigerians with disabilities are still faced with these challenges (The Guardian, April 12, 2009; Michailakis, 1997). A recent review of disability issues in Nigeria identified many factors why the disability agenda continues to suffer.

Notable among them were: the absence of disability discrimination laws, lack of social protection, poor understanding of disability issues by the public, and poor access to rehabilitation services. The report recommended, among others, the collection of robust and reliable data, and advocacy for the passage of the disability bill into law (Lang and Upal, 2008).