The World Bank (WB) has appointed Hafez Ghanem as the bank's new vice president for Africa, effective July 1, a release has said. Ghanem succeeds Makhtar Diop, who has been appointed as the bank's Vice President for Infrastructure.
According to the release, Ghanem, a development expert with over 30 years of experience, will lead an active regional portfolio consisting of over 600 projects, totaling more than US$71 billion.
Under Ghanem's leadership, WB will continue to support inclusive growth and poverty reduction by financing projects that boost human capital, support private sector development, raise agricultural productivity, improve access to infrastructure, build resilience to climate change and promote regional integration.
"Priority will be given to projects and programs that provide economic opportunities for youth and that promotes gender equality," the release said. The bank will also intensify its work in fragile and conflict-affected states.
Ghanem brings a wealth of experience to the position, having worked in more than 30 countries in Africa, Europe and Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa and Southeast Asia. Previously, the bank's Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa, Ghanem led engagement in the region through a portfolio of ongoing projects, technical assistance and grants worth more than US$13 billion.
As Sub-Saharan African countries strive to accelerate growth, eradicate extreme poverty and better integrate into the global economy, the World Bank Group remains a committed partner that can be relied upon to bring innovative approaches to development and financing.