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World Bank names former Senegal finance minister to head IFC

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Makhtar Diop PHOTO: AFP

The World Bank on Thursday announced it selected former Senegal finance minister Makhtar Diop to lead the agency responsible for private sector finance at a critical time for the global recovery.

He would be the first African to lead the International Finance Corporation (IFC) which leverages financing to support private firms in developing nations.

The announcement comes just days after the World Trade Organization selected Nigeria’s former finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as its new director-general, the first African and first woman to serve in that role.

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Noting his “deep development and finance experience,” World Bank President David Malpass said, Diop’s “skills at IFC will help the World Bank Group continue our rapid response to the global crisis and help build a green, resilient, inclusive recovery.”

Diop, currently World Bank vice president for infrastructure and previously vice president for Africa, will take his new post at the IFC on March 1.

The Washington-based development lender said Diop’s key responsibilities will be to “deepen and energize” what it called the IFC’s 3.0 strategy to mobilize private capital, increase climate and gender investments and support countries facing conflict.

“It also aims to expand IFC’s impact in the poorest and most fragile countries, with a goal to more than triple IFC’s annual own-account investments,” the World Bank said.

Diop, an economist who studied in Britain, worked in finance before entering government. He was named Senegal’s minister of Economy and Finance in April 2000, a position he held for just over a year.

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