US academic Jim Yong Kim’s election on Monday as the president of the World Bank for five years has put off a change in the leadership pattern atleast for the time being.
Emerging countries have sought an end to the concept that gives World Bank top job to the US and IMF to Europe.
Kim’s nomination was announced by US President Barack Obama on March 23.
The Dartmouth College president is a South Korean-born US citizen who, Obama said, was picked for his background in development work, on HIV/AIDS for the World Health Organisation.
While his main rival Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala lost out in failing to force the world body to change, Columbia’s José Antonio Ocampo dropped out last week.
Kim acknowledged this growing demand for change in leadership pattern in a statement issued after his election. “As President, I will seek a new alignment of the World Bank Group with a changing world,” he said.
Nigerian finance minister Okonjo-Iweala, who was earlier with the World Bank, was said to be running as an insider who knew what was required to change the Bank.
She had the support of the African Union and a few others, and her backers had sought the support of India and other BRICS countries.
India has publicly supported merit-based selection of the World Bank chief, but doesn’t seem too keen to go with a non-west candidate.
“With a World Bank chief from the developed west, India can expect to get some loans,” said an Indian official. “While someone from the developing world is likely to be more focussed on his or her own region.”