WASHINGTON D.C, Jan. 17, 2011 — The World Bank has today announced the appointment of Makhtar Diop (pictured), a Senegalese national and former country director in Kenya, as its new Vice President for Africa. He succeeds Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili who will return to Nigeria in early May after serving as the region’s Vice President since 2007.
Mr Diop, currently the World Bank’s Country Director for Brazil since 2009, will take up his new position on May 6th. A former Finance Minister in Senegal and Chair of the West African Monetary Union (WAEMU) Board of Finance Ministers, Mr Diop joined the World Bank in 2001 and has served in various senior positions as the World Bank’s Country Director for Kenya, Eritrea, and Somalia, as well as Director of Strategy and Operations in the Bank’s Latin America and Caribbean region.
Mr Diop will be remembered for sparking a spat with first lady Lucy Kibaki in his Muthaiga residence, for allegedly playing loud music during a celebration during his last days in Kenya.
In praising Ezekwesili for “five years of important and successful service to the Bank and to Africa”, World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick said she would return to Nigeria in early May.
“Under Oby’s leadership, our Africa team employed innovation, knowledge, partnership and financial services to strengthen results across Africa and to improve the prospects for Africa’s economic performance. Her close attention to the needs of our clients, engagement with African leadership and with regional institutions, as well as with the UN and other partners, has helped us to leverage our effectiveness across Africa. Oby has done excellent work mobilizing private sector engagement and better connecting Africa’s development to that of other regions, particularly through South-South partnerships” said Zoellick.
The Bank President said that Ezekwesili was a relentless campaigner for transparency and against corruption; had strongly supported the need for greater social accountability and civil society engagement; and had promoted innovative approaches to regional integration.
“We wish Oby all the best in her future endeavors working with civil society, in which she will help to strengthen public sector capacity, and work especially with young people and women. I am especially appreciative of her committed and devoted service, including the years spent away from her family,” Zoellick said.