The President of the World Bank, Ajay Banga, says the institution has the capacity to match the drive of Nigerian entrepreneurs.
Banga said this in Marrakech on Friday, in his address at the plenary of the 2023 Annual Meetings.
According to him, such support should also be extended to determined individuals in Indonesia, Jamaica and elsewhere in the developing and low-income world.
“We must be the hand on the back, moving people forward. We must be an institution that exports optimism and impact.
“We must find a way to finance a different world where our climate is protected, pandemics are manageable if not preventable, food is abundant, and fragility and poverty are defeated.
“Looking across the world, it is easy to be consumed by a sense of despair.
“Yet, in all corners of the globe, people are eager to go to work, and to create with their own hands. They want a better life for their children and grandchildren.
“I have about yearnings among entrepreneurs in Nigeria, seen it in the proud eyes of artists in Indonesia, and touched it on the worn hands of farmers in Jamaica,’’ he said.
Banga said that the World Bank was “turning to face the wind’’.
According to him, that evolution began months ago, and today there is a new vision and mission for the World Bank.
“To create a world free of poverty, on a livable planet. But time is of the essence.
“This urgency motivated us to write a new playbook, a new mission. One that will drive impactful development and lead to a better quality of life, access to clean air, clean water, education and decent health care.
“It is a mission that is inclusive of everyone, including women and young people,’’ he said.
He said that the new mission also included resilient to shocks, including against climate and biodiversity crises, pandemics and fragility.
According to him, the mission also involves growth and job creation, human development, fiscal and debt management, food security and access to clean air, water, and affordable energy.
“With this vision, we are widening the aperture of the World Bank, reflecting a reality that the luxury of choice is for the last generation,’’ he said.