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07.06.2007 General News

Nominee for World Bank top job calls on Vice President


Mr. Robert Zoellick, the nominee to take over from Mr. Paul Wolfowitz as President of the World Bank, on Wednesday hailed the development strategy of Ghana, as a right approach.

He said the strategy had the potential of facilitating national efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and realise the ultimate aim of eliminating hunger and weaning itself from the assistance of the donor community.

Mr. Zoellick, who showered the praises when he conferred with Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama at the Osu Castle in Accra, said, Ghana had gone the extra mile to stabilize the economy.

He said the long-term objective of the Bank was to break the economic dependence of Africa.

His consultative visit to Africa had already taken him to Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso, where he met with the Ministers of Finance. He will wrap up the Regional tour with trips to Ethiopia and South Africa.

Vice President Mahama acknowledged the immense assistance of the Bank to Ghana and called on Mr. Zoellick to maintain the tradition.

He said, during his tenure as President, he could even do more by increasing the 50 percent allocation of funds the bank channels to the developing countries through the International Development Assistance.

Vice President Mahama said Ghana had to fall on China and the capital market to support the economy and asked the Bank to be proactive in streamlining the situation.

The Bank, he said, should be supportive of efforts by Africa in polling resources to boost regional integration.

He said Ghana was looking forward to the needed assistance to boost efforts to construct a railway line to neighbouring land-lock Burkina Faso to improve on haulage services from the ports.

Vice President Mahama also appealed for assistance to help reduce diseases and the HIV/AIDS pandemic, which he said were destroying economies and democratic efforts in Africa.

The Vice President, who was flanked by Mr. Kwadwo Mpianim, Chief of Staff, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning and his two deputies, Dr Paul Acquah, Governor of the Bank of Ghana and his aides and Mrs. Henrietta Chinery Hesse, Special Advisor to the President later met with Mr. Zoellick behind closed doors.

Mr Zoellick arrived in Accra on Tuesday for an overnight visit to meet with government officials to lobby for the top job.

His visit to Ghana was also because the country chairs the African Union.

President George Bush nominated the former Deputy Secretary of State and US Trade Representative, last week.

Mr Zoellick has since left for Ethiopia.

Source: GNA