World Bank group president Mr Robert B Zoellick announced Tuesday that he would step down at the end of a five-year term in which a transformed bank played an historic role during the global economic crisis, using record replenishments to provide more than $247 billion to help developing countries boost growth and overcome poverty.
“I’m honored to have led such a world-class institution with so many talented and exceptional people. Together we have focused on supporting developing countries to navigate crises and adjust to global economic shifts,” said Zeollick.
“The Bank has recognised that we live in a world of multiple poles of growth where traditional concepts of the ‘Third World’ are now outdated and where developing countries have a key role to play as growth drivers and responsible stakeholders.”
He said: “At the same time, we’ve scaled up our support to poor people, countries, and communities and shown that the bank can be an indispensable innovator, catalyst, and driver of a modernized multilateralism.
“I’m very pleased that when the world needed the bank to step up, our shareholders responded with expanded resources and support for key reforms that made us quicker, more effective and more open.
The bank is now strong, healthy and well-positioned for new challenges, and so it is a natural time for me to move on and support new leadership.”
Zoellick said that through June 30 he would stay 100% focused on being bank president and would continue to drive policy and programmes at a heightened tempo.
Later this month, he will help unveil a joint groundbreaking World Bank-China study on the future structure of China’s growth model, drawing lessons for other middle-income countries.
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former managing director of the bank, recently resigned when she was called to serve as minister of finance in Nigeria by President Goodluck Jonathan.