Black Excellence: Makhtar Diop Becomes The First African To Head World Bank’s International Finance Corporation

by Duke Magazine

Makhtar Diop has been named as the chief executive of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private arm of the World Bank. The appointment ensues him as the first African to head the position.

The Senegalese national replaces Philippe Le Houerou, who relinquished the position in September 2020 after more than four years as the IFC’s CEO, according to Reuters. Meanwhile, Stephanie von Friedeburg, who stepped in as the interim CEO following the resignation of Le Houerou, was appointed IFC’s senior vice president of operations.

World Bank President David Malpass praised Diop’s knowledge in both private and public service, where he passed a vote of confidence in the Senegalese national’s ability to attract investment to low-carbon energy, transportation, clean water, digital services and other infrastructure.

“Makhtar’s skills at IFC will help the World Bank Group continue our rapid response to the global crisis and help build a green, resilient, inclusive recovery,” Malpass said in a statement released by the IFC. “Makhtar’s skills at IFC will help the World Bank Group continue our rapid response to the global crisis and help build a green, resilient, inclusive recovery.”

According to the statement, Diop’s key responsibilities will be to deepen and energize IFC’s 3.0 strategy of proactively creating markets and mobilizing private capital at significant scale; deliver on the IFC capital package policy commitments including increased climate and gender investments and support for FCV countries facing fragility, conflict and violence.

Furthermore, the statement said he will strengthen the nexus between IFC, the World Bank, and MIGA, as the World Bank Group accelerates efforts aimed at boosting good development outcomes in client countries.

Diop is a former minister of economy and finance of Senegal, West Africa. Prior to his appointment, he served as the World Bank’s vice president for infrastructure, supervising the bank’s work across energy, transport, digital development and other sectors.

He also served six years as the World Bank’s Vice President for the Africa Region, where he oversaw the delivery of a record-breaking $70 billion to Sub-Saharan Africa to help tackle development challenges such as increasing access to affordable and sustainable energy; boosting women’s and youth’s economic empowerment; and promoting an enabling environment for more innovation and technology adoption, according to the World Bank.

Also, from 2009 to 2012, Diop held the position of World Bank Country Director for Brazil where the World Bank helped finance major infrastructure work and was the Bank’s Country Director for Kenya, Eritrea, and Somalia.

Diop has been named one of the 100 most influential Africans in the world by the Africa Report. In 2015, he received the prestigious Regents’ Lectureship Award from the University of California, Berkeley.

The Senegalese holds degrees in economics from the Universities of Warwick and Nottingham in England.

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