Victoria Kwakwa appointed World Bank VP for eastern and southern Africa

Victoria Kwakwa has been appointed the new Vice President of the World Bank for the eastern and southern regions of Africa. This announcement was made on Friday, July 1, 2022, by the World Bank.

Kwakwa takes over from Hafez Ghanem, who retired from the World Bank on June 30, 2022.

The Washington-based financial institution said that Kwakwa, who has over 30 years of experience in development economics, will lead and oversee an active regional program including a financing portfolio of “over 300 projects totaling more than $50 billion with extensive policy research and advice.”

One of the critical projects that Kwakwa will be tasked with completing is the East Africa Trade and Transport Facilitation Project, which will not only improve railway services in Kenya and Uganda but also improve trading activities across the East Africa region.

Kwakwa, a B.Sc. degree holder in Economics and Statistics from the University of Ghana, joined the World Bank in 1989 and rose through the ranks to become the President of the East Asia-Pacific Region.

According to the bank’s statement, her impact on improving the bank’s operational efficiency didn’t go unnoticed.

“In her most recent role as the World Bank’s Vice President for Corporate Strategic Initiatives, she worked closely with the World Bank Managing Director of Operations to enhance the bank’s operational efficiency and impact,” a statement announcing the appointment noted.

“Under Kwakwa’s leadership, the World Bank will continue to provide vital support to countries as they face a series of complex, multifaceted challenges, including the fallout from the COVID-19 crisis, increasing climate shocks, food and energy-fueled inflation, and rising debt levels.”

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“She will focus on support for economic recovery and transformation, private-sector job creation, human capital development, climate resilience, agricultural productivity, and food security, as well as access to critical infrastructure.”

Kwakwa will help the bank “target efforts to reduce the drivers of fragility and conflict, improve gender equality, and increase regional integration.”

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