AFRICA – The World Bank, the world’s largest multilateral financial institution, has re-organized its African mission into two divisions and appointed Mr. Ousmane Diagana as the second Vice President for the Sub-Saharan Africa Region.

Before the latest appointment, the region’s portfolio was formally managed by one Vice president, a position occupied by Mr. Hafez Ghanem, an Egyptian and French national.

The appointment of Mr. Ousmane Diagana, makes him the second VP with responsibility for Central and Western Africa, while Mr. Ghanem now oversees Eastern and Southern Africa affairs.

The bank said that the appointment of two VP for sub-Sahara Africa was , “a sign of its strong commitment to Africa”

Mr. Diagana, Mauritanian national with more than 25 years of development experience, joined the Bank in 1992 and has served various positions including that of Vice President for Ethics and Business Conduct and the World Bank Group Vice President for Human Resources.

Diagana’s appointment comes as the Bank is looking to strengthen the delivery of its Africa program and further improve its operational focus on regional portfolios to better support the transformational improvements that are possible in Africa.

This year the World Bank is expected to lend about $50 billion to 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa – significantly more than any other Region and making up about one-third of the World Bank’s entire portfolio.

World Bank explained that the money will finance the Bank’s portfolio which includes projects and programs in areas such as agriculture, trade and transport, energy, education, health, water and sanitation.

Furthermore, World Bank noted that growth in financing to fragile states has been even higher with about two-thirds of World Bank financing to fragile states happening in Africa.

According to the bank, the creation of an additional Vice Presidency Unit is part of the its continuous efforts to align resources with priorities.

World Bank also noted that the development would help drive the reforms and policies needed to achieve sustained and broad-based growth, alleviate poverty and raise living standards for people on the continent.

“Our commitment to Africa gets stronger every day, and I am thrilled to work alongside Ousmane Diagana to deliver even more resources to the people who need them the most,” said Mr.  Ghanem.

“We are two Vice Presidents, but we see Africa as one, and will continue sharing lessons, expertise, and ideas across the continent.”

Also commenting on the development, Mr. Diagana said, “I am honoured to lead the bank’s efforts in West and Central Africa, with a strong focus on innovation, impact, and transformation.”

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