Sunday, April 15, 2012

Transcript: 'Fareed Zakaria GPS' (4-15-12)

Full transcript. Excerpt below:

ZAKARIA: Tell me, do you feel that the President of the United States picked to head the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim is unqualified in the way that the Economist Magazine editorialized this week?

OKOJO-IWEALA: I have tremendous respect for Jim Yong Kim, the pick of the United States. But the argument is not really about nationality. The development committee of the World Bank, as well as the G20 have signed on to a merit based, open and transparent process of selecting the President of the World Bank.

That means that it should be done based on who is best qualified from anywhere, regardless of nationality. So I think that, you know, we took that seriously. The leaders of the continent of Africa who asked me to be a nominee, I think took this seriously. And that's why I find myself in the contest.

ZAKARIA: So, do you think, for you, is your qualification primarily that you are from Nigeria, a country that has strongly been a recipient of World Bank aid? Or is it your personal characteristics? How do you see your strongest calling card?

OKOJO-IWEALA: No, my qualifications. (It's) not just to do with the fact that I'm from Nigeria, or even African. (INAUDIBLE) world, in almost every region. My qualifications are based on the experience I've had both working and the (world). And what's also very importantly, as (INAUDIBLE) economy, 4 years of experience as Finance Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister in a complex, developing country.

So I've seen the World Bank operates from both inside and outside, importantly outside. But I've also lived poverty. I know what the issues are. I've seen what it means to fetch water from the stream as a young girl growing up in Nigeria. I've see what it means to live in a country that has experienced conflict and that has lost many years (in) development because of that conflict.

So (INAUDIBLE) situations that World Bank is trying to grapple with. (I've actually) lived them and manage them every day. So I think that (INAUDIBLE) qualifications. I have the (INAUDIBLE), I have the experience, I have the training and I also have the ability to get up and go and move (INAUDIBLE).

ZAKARIA: If you do not get it, Ngozi, do you think that the credibility of the World Bank will suffer in that it almost irreparably that the United States was able to put somebody up and all the experts are saying you're more qualified, but at the end of the day the U.S. pick still wins?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fareed usually has a well-reasoned view on world issues, but in his interview with Okojo-Iweala, implying she is more qualified than Jim Yong Kim to lead the World Bank, I believe he got it wrong. At the least Kim should be invited to tell his story too. Few people know Partners in Health or the work that Kim has done around the world in its most destitute and impoverished places. During and in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake PIH was first on the scene because they had been there all along. And they are there still, fighting cholera outbreaks that continue to plague the country long after most Americans have forgotten them. Kim is an "inspired" choice to head the World Bank for all the reasons brought out in Paul Farmer's and John Gershman's piece "Jim Kim's humility would serve World Bank well" April 11 in the Washington Post. No one should form an opinion before reading this.