By Hope Imaka – EM TV Online
Ghanaian national, Victoria Kwakwa has been announced as the newly appointed World Bank, Regional Vice President for East Asia and Pacific, effective April 15, 2016. She now oversees a portfolio of more than $32 billion in loans, grants, credits, and trust funds across 23 countries.
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim made the appointment, stating that Kwakwa’s appointment ensures a seamless leadership transition for this region of increasing importance to the World Bank Group.
“She knows the region well and has been part of our efforts in bringing about change at a time when East Asia Pacific has been rapidly developing and playing a pivotal global role.” said Kim.
Previously the World Bank’s Country Director of Vietnam, Kwakwa will now lead the Bank’s advisory and lending operations in the region and oversee strategic engagement with the region’s 23 member countries. The Bank’s lending in East Asia Pacific is expected to reach $7.5 billion (K22.2 billion) in the fiscal year ending June 30.
Kwakwa joined the Bank as a Young Professional in 1989 and worked on the 2000-2001 World Development Report on poverty. From 2000 to 2006, she was a senior economist and lead economist in Abuja, Nigeria.
Before moving to Hanoi, Kwakwa was the country manager for Rwanda for two years, where she worked with the government to design and pilot programs in social protection, health financing, and agriculture productivity.
“I am honoured to lead our engagement in a region that is key to the future relevance of the World Bank Group,” said Kwakwa.
“In the last decade, East Asia and Pacific’s share in the world economy has tripled, to about 19 per cent. That number is projected to rise to more than 30 per cent by 2030. I look forward to working with our client countries to maintain their competitiveness and economic dynamism while tackling challenges including urbanisation, vulnerability to climate change, rapid ageing and rising inequality. I am confident that the region will continue to find innovative solutions that will resonate around the world.”