June 20, 2024

World Bank President David Malpass Highlights Successes, Regrets, and Future Challenges in Final Spring Meetings Press Conference

OCTOBER 11, 2022 - WASHINGTON DC. 2022 IMF/WORLD BANK ANNUAL MEETINGS: A shortage of Life’s Essentials: The Human Cost of the Food and Fuel Crises Looking at specific actions that the international community needs to focus on to address both energy and food shocks, using concrete examples of how countries are working on tackling the immediate crises without compromising long-term goals of efficiency, sustainability, and resilience. It will examine a number of tangible solutions that are shaping a sustainable recovery from the point of view of countries and communities, offering a snapshot of immediate action from across WBG regions in our client countries. David R. Malpass, President, World Bank Group; Axel van Trotsenburg, Managing Director of Operations, World Bank; Johan Swinnen, Director General, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Minister of International Development of Norway; Seedy K. M. Keita, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Gambia; Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, Arab Republic of Egypt; Mostafa Terrab, Chairman and CEO, OCP GrouP. Host, Meriem Gray, Communications Lead, Sustainable Development, World Bank. Photo: World Bank / Franz Mahr

World Bank President David Malpass addressed his last Spring Meetings press conference before his successor, Mr. Ajay Banga, takes over. He discussed the successes of his tenure, such as the Bank’s response to crises like COVID-19 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as the challenges still faced by developing countries like Nigeria and Egypt. Malpass emphasized the need for structural changes and increased investment in areas like clean water access and agriculture to boost growth and living standards.

Malpass also highlighted the World Bank’s evolving priorities, including a focus on sustainability, resilience, and inclusiveness. He outlined new initiatives aimed at boosting the financial capacity of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) by up to $50 billion over the next 10 years.

Among the challenges faced by developing countries, Malpass specifically addressed Nigeria’s economic situation. He noted that while the country’s growth was 3.3% in 2022 and 2.8% in 2023, many changes are needed to achieve shared prosperity and sustainability. Malpass pointed to Nigeria’s trade protectionism, dual exchange rate system, high inflation, and lack of economic diversification as obstacles to progress.

The World Bank president expressed regret over the persistence of global debt and structural blockages in many developing countries, which prevent them from achieving faster growth and catching up with advanced economies. Malpass also highlighted the importance of timely debt restructuring processes, equal burden-sharing among creditors, and transparency in contracts.

Malpass acknowledged the Bank’s ongoing efforts to work harder, more efficiently, and more effectively on impactful projects worldwide, despite the limited resources and growing challenges.

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