• Saturday, April 01, 2023


Ajay Banga calls for a revamp of development model

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 27: Executive Chairman of Mastercard Ajay Banga listens during a meeting with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on the Northern Triangle in Central America, at the Vice President’s Ceremony Office at Eisenhower Executive Office Building May 27, 2021 in Washington, DC. Vice President Harris held a meeting with CEOs of the 12 companies and organizations that had announced commitments to support “inclusive economic development in the Northern Triangle” to discuss “strategy to address the root causes of migration by promoting economic opportunity.” (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

AJAY BANGA, the United States’ candidate to head the World Bank, has called for a revamp of the development model to better meet the challenge of climate change.

Banga, who is on trip to Kenya, said the world cannot continue to “pursue the prior model of (an) emission heavy growth system,” and rallied for adaptation.

“We cannot afford it, our children cannot afford it,” he told reporters in Nairobi on Wednesday (8).

The 63-year-old Indian American was last month nominated by US president Joe Biden to head the global lender after its current chief David Malpass announced plans to step down early.

The nomination comes amid a push for development lenders to revamp and address global problems like environmental issues more effectively.

Banga is currently serving as vice chairman at equity firm General Atlantic and was previously chief executive at Mastercard.

Malpass had been accused by former US vice president Al Gore of being a climate skeptic and of not having being able to strengthen the financing of climate projects in developing nations.

Faced with global warming, “we must do more on adaptation,” Banga said, urging partnerships with the private sector.

The World Bank last month began accepting candidate nominations in a process set to run until March 29, with the bank saying that women contenders would be “strongly” encouraged.

‘Champion of equality’

Banga, a Sikh who was born and raised in India, is so far the only declared candidate and has received the support of several countries including India, Kenya and Ghana.

“I am not a woman but I do bring a lot of diversity.”

“I am a champion of equality not just of gender, of ethnicity, of sexual orientation, of where you grew up, I don’t care about all that, what I care about is what you do, and I am an example of that myself,” he added.

Kenya is Banga’s second stop on a global tour after Ivory Coast.

He is planning to meet officials in Europe and parts of Asia including China, India and Japan, as well as Latin America in the coming weeks.

The US nominee has drawn criticism over his corporate background and gender.

“We don’t need another World Bank president who will further corporate interests like fossil fuel and industrial agriculture,” Friends of the Earth said last month.


Related Stories