Ajay Banga, president of the World Bank, has raised his hat to the yearnings of Nigerian entrepreneurs to lead better lives, saying that the global Bank can match the energy.
Banga said this in Marrakech on Friday, in his address at the plenary of the 2023 Annual Meetings.
He acknowledged to have seen such drive with the Indonesians and Jamaicans also.
“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 felt that yearning 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 the Bank has an obligation to match the energy of entrepreneurs in these countries with a fierce determination. “We must be the hand on the back – moving people forward. We must be an institution that exports optimism and impact.”
According to him, the World Bank’s evolution began months ago, and it plays out in the fact that there is a new vision and mission for the Bank.
“To create a world free of poverty, on a livable planet.
“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 resilience to shocks, including climate and biodiversity crises, pandemics, and fragility.
According to him, it 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 …reflecting a reality that the luxury of choice was for the last generation,” Banga said.