Washington, June 1 (Reuters): Paul Wolfowitz became World Bank president today and said his agenda would focus on Africa, tackling corruption and making poor countries feel less sidelined in the bank’s decisions.
In his first briefing with reporters since he was confirmed unanimously in March, the former US deputy defence secretary said he did not plan an organisational makeover.
The development bank was in “great shape,” he declared, with a mission clearly trained on tackling global poverty.
Wolfowitz takes the reins of the globe’s premier lender to impoverished countries despite widespread criticism of his role as the architect of the US war in Iraq.
He quieted his critics by inviting them to meet with him and even handed out his e-mail to staff members still uneasy about their new boss. Wolfowitz said his immediate priority would be Africa.
“Africa has a dependence and need for the bank that stands out among all the many people who need what this bank has to offer” said Wolfowitz, acknowledging he still had lots to learn.