WB appoints new Africa vice-president

Hafez Ghanem
Hafez Ghanem; the new World Bank Vice President for Africa. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The World Bank has appointed development expert Hafez Ghanem as its new vice-president for Africa.

Mr Ghanem, whose appointment is effective from July 1, succeeds Mr Makhtar Diop, who has been named the bank’s Vice- President for Infrastructure.

He is expected to lead a regional portfolio consisting of over 600 projects totalling more than Sh7.1 trillion ($71 billion).

“Under Granem, the World Bank will continue to support inclusive growth and poverty reduction by financing projects that boost human capital, support private sector development, raise agricultural productivity, improve access to infrastructure, build resilience to climate change and promote regional integration,” the multilateral lender said in a statement.

“Priority will be given to projects and programmes that provide economic opportunities for youth and that promote gender equality. The World Bank will also intensify its work in fragile and conflict-affected states.” Ghanem has worked in more than 30 countries in Africa, Europe and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, and Southeast Asia.

Previously the World Bank’s Vice-President for the Middle East and North Africa, he led engagement in the region through a portfolio of ongoing projects, technical assistance and grants worth more than $13 billion.