Runner Up to the World Bank Presidency Blames Politics

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For five years starting July 1st, Jim Yong Kim will be the president of the World Bank meaning the United States continues its streak when it comes to installing its citizens at the top of the global financial institution.

Given the long track record of American dominance, it sounds like the runner up for the seat, Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, didn't sound the least bit surprised just before the formal announcement on Monday. "You know this thing is not really being decided on merit," Okonjo-Iweala told reporters. "It is voting with political weight and shares, and therefore the United States will get it."

Kim, the president of Dartmouth College, is the twelfth American out to win the World Bank presidency since the institution was founded in 1946. (There have only been 12 presidents of the World Bank. But according to The Guardian, the committee having even taking Okonjo-Iweala seriously is a sign that the times are changing. "So we have won a big victory," she said, conceding that her nomination alone was historic. "Who gets to run the World Bank – we have shown we can contest this thing and Africa can produce people capable of running the entire architecture." We'll have to wait another five years to learn if the committee agrees.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.