In an atmosphere of escalating geopolitical tension, the American decision to nominate Banga, who was born and raised in India, was deliberate, as the United States is trying to get closer to India to counter Chinese influence in the region.
US candidate for the presidency of the World Bank Ajay Banga was elected Wednesday at the helm of the financial institution by the board of directors, it confirmed in a statement. Sources close to the foundation said that the only declared American-Indian candidate, who is 63 years old, has confirmed on many occasions that he wants to give priority to financing the fight against global warming and reforming the World Bank, provided that he assumes his duties on the second of June for a five-year term.
US President Joe Biden congratulated Banga, stressing that he is ready to “support his efforts to improve the performance of the World Bank, which remains one of the most important institutions to combat poverty in the world.”
In an atmosphere of escalating geopolitical tension, the American decision to nominate Banga, who was born and raised in India, was deliberate as the United States is trying to get closer to India to counter Chinese influence in the region.
As a result, Ajay Banga embarked on a world tour to promote his candidacy and gain the support of as many countries as possible, especially emerging and developing countries. He was thus able to count on India, Kenya and even South Africa, which supported his candidacy.
Banga has also succeeded in counting on the support of a certain number of francophone countries, Abdessalam Bello, an official representing 23 African countries at the World Bank, told AFP in mid-April.
“I think the campaign is going well,” a US Treasury official said at the end of March. “His experience is seen as absolutely essential, as is his knowledge of the private sector and public-private partnerships, and that’s key within the World Bank setting.”
“We believe that his experience will be very important in helping the World Bank to strengthen the mobilization of the private sector. During our discussions he talked about interesting practical solutions to consolidate this commitment of the private sector,” added Bello.
“When we know that we may need financing, it is difficult not to support the candidate who will be elected,” an African minister who was in Washington during the spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in early April told AFP.
In a context in which more than sixty poor and emerging countries are on the brink of a debt crisis or are exposed to it, financing from the two financial institutions is more important to avoid the collapse of their national economies.
It is known that raising interest rates by major central banks affects these countries’ access to financing, raises costs, and complicates the budget situation in these countries.