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Indian-origin executive Ajay Banga appointed as next world bank president

Ajay Banga

Washington: The World Bank on Wednesday confirmed that Indian-origin executive Ajay Banga will be its next president. The institution is looking to reshape its role to address the challenges posed by the climate crisis.

Banga is a US candidate and he was the sole nominee for the position. He will start his work as president on June 2.

A statement published after executives voted to approve Banga's leadership for the next five years said: "The Board looks forward to working with Mr. Banga on the World Bank Group Evolution process. The bank looks forward to working with Banga on all the World Bank Group's ambitions and efforts aimed at tackling the toughest development challenges facing developing countries."

Speaking to the media, Banga said that he wanted to see greater private-sector funding to help tackle global problems. "There is not enough money without the private sector. An organisation like the World Bank should set up a system that could share risk or mobilise private funds to achieve its goals. These are all tools in the toolkit and I'm going to try and figure it out."

According to the bank's estimates, developing countries need $2.4 trillion every year for the next seven years to address the cost of climate change, conflict, and the pandemic. Some members are concerned that the new objectives may relegate the pressing economic development needs of developing countries.

Banga (63) was born into a Sikh family in India. He is also a naturalised US citizen. He ran the payments company Mastercard between 2010 and 2021 and served on the boards of the American Red Cross, Kraft Foods, and Dow Inc.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen last month said that she was confident that Banga has the right experience and track record of bringing together governments, the private sector, and nonprofits to deliver on ambitious goals. His appointment comes amid growing criticism over the US' control over the economy and the world bank, a Washington-based money lender. Historically, a US citizen has always held the presidency of the world bank.

The current president David Malpass is stepping down from the top post before his tenure is completed due to criticism over his stance on climate change.

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TAGS:Ajay Bangaworld bank presidentAjay Banga world bankworld bank on climate change
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