Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

The Physician Banker

Written By: Jason Shafrin - Apr• 18•12

On Monday, the World Bank announced that its new president would be American Jim Yong Kim.

Unlike previous World Bank Presidents, who typically have economics, finance or business backgrounds, Kim is a physician who built his reputation developing public health programs for poor countries.

Not everyone likes the decision.

A physician with a doctorate in anthropology, Kim was criticized by some development professionals concerned that his narrow expertise was wrong for such a diverse institution. The bank offers loans and grants to the poorest nations and pursues an array of projects in better-developed nations as well — from helping fund power plants and other infrastructure to helping countries strengthen their financial markets and government institutions.

Nigeria is unhappy that their candidate, Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was not chosen.

[Analyst for the African Center for Leadership, Strategy and Development Otive] Igbuzor said in a phone interview that without providing a greater role to emerging economies, the World Bank risked irrelevance — and a threat that in future those economies could form their own development bank.

What should be Kim’s first course of action?  Take a look at the opinions from guest posts at the Guardian and the Financial Times.

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