The World Bank has appointed Victoria Kwakwa as the new World Bank Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa, effective today. Kwakwa, an economist and development expert with over 30 years of experience, will lead an active regional program including a financing portfolio of over 300 projects totaling more than $50 billion and extensive policy research and advice.
Under Kwakwa’s leadership, the World Bank will continue to provide vital support to countries as they face a series of complex, multifaceted challenges including the fall-out from the COVID-19 crisis, increasing climate shocks, food- and energy-fueled inflation, and rising debt levels. She will focus on support to economic recovery and transformation, private sector job creation, human capital development, climate resilience, agricultural productivity and food security, as well as access to critical infrastructure. The World Bank will also target efforts to reduce the drivers of fragility and conflict, improve gender equality and increase regional integration.
Kwakwa brings a wealth of development experience to the position, having worked on countries in Africa, and East Asia. In her most recent role as the World Bank’s Vice President for Corporate Strategic Initiatives, she worked closely with the World Bank Managing Director of Operations to enhance the Bank’s operational efficiency and impact. She also served as the Vice President for East Asia Pacific from April 2016 to September 2021, where she led the Bank’s engagement with 23 diverse clients on a wide range of development issues.
With a track record of putting people at the center of her work, Kwakwa is dedicated to bringing innovative approaches and financing to development to contribute to achieving a stable, integrated, and resilient region with dynamic economies and prosperous societies in which all citizens, notably women, children and youth enjoy equality of opportunity.
Kwakwa succeeds Hafez Ghanem, who retired from the World Bank on June 30, 2022.