Washington challenged for World Bank Presidency
By Matthew Staff
Africa has voiced their support for Nigerian Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to be elected as President of the World Bank; disrupting a post held by the US senate since World War 2.
Unless America finds an esteemed candidate very soon, it looks as though they will be beaten to the top job by either Okonjo-Iweala or Colombia’s Jose Antonio Ocampo, replacing their current President Robert Zoellick.
Since 1945, the position has been dominated by the US senate, but following John Kerry’s reluctance to run for the job, the door has been left open for another developed nation to take the reins.
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From the 187 member nations, a World Bank board of 25 is formed; of which three are compiled from Africa. The finance ministers from Angola, Nigeria and South Africa are set to make the announcement of Okonjo-Iweala’s inclusion on Friday at a press conference in Petoria.
His candidacy has received extensive positive backing from the world’s ministers in general, and despite China, Brazil, Russia and India all having aspirations for their own members, their unity in dethroning America is resounding.
“We continue to believe that the president should be chosen based on merit, and it is very positive to have an open competition process,” declared Carlos Cozendey, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs at Brazil’s finance ministry.
His view is shared by many in a collaborative hope that developing countries can unite to produce a more democratic decision in future elections.
Former World Bank official, Domenico Lombardi has stated that this year’s election will be the first “truly contested decision”, and it is likely that Okonjo-Iweala and Ocampo will battle it out for the vacancy.
Any last ditch attempts by China look destined to be too little, too late, while the USA are focusing on a curve ball of their own.
To show their forward thinking transitional mindset, they are trying to convince ambassador, Susan Rice to become the first female president.
This seems to be their last hope to convince electorates that America are still the right country to lead the World’s finances, but the likelihood is that Nigeria, and indeed Africa as a whole, will be celebrating upon hearing the results.
G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration.
Who are the G7?
The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like.
The merry band comprises:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.
Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda.
When was the ‘G’ formed?
Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s.
Why does the G7 exist?
At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted.
The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability.
It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations.
Where is the 2021 G7 summit?
This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall.
What will be discussed this year?
After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”
The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values.
According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.”