THE World Bank’s Sub-Saharan Africa regional portfolio will now be managed by two vice presidents, covering Western and Central and Eastern and Southern Africa, respectively for increased country operational focus.
Ousmane Diagana will join as vice president for Western and Central Africa while Hafez Ghanem becomes vice president for Eastern and Southern Africa.
The institution announced the change in early 2020, which took effect on Wednesday. This year the World Bank is expected to lend about $50 billion to 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa – significantly more than any other region and making up about one-third of the World Bank’s entire portfolio, said the bank in a latest statement.
It said the financing volumes are almost double what the region delivered 10 years ago. The bank’s portfolio includes projects and programs in areas such as agriculture, trade and transport, energy, education, health, water and sanitation.
Furthermore, the growth in financing to fragile states has been even higher with about two-thirds of World Bank financing to fragile states happening in Africa, it said.
The region has been led since 2018 by Ghanem, who takes on the role of vice president for Eastern and Southern Africa.
“Our commitment to Africa gets stronger every day, and I am thrilled to work alongside Ousmane Diagana to deliver even more resources to the people who need them the most,” said Ghanem.
“We are two vice presidents, but we see Africa as one, and will continue sharing lessons, expertise, and ideas across the continent.”
The creation of an additional vice presidency unit is part of the World Bank group’s continuous efforts to align resources with priorities. This is expected to help drive the reforms and policies needed to achieve sustained and broad-based growth, alleviate poverty and raise living standards for people on the continent.