Sun | Oct 1, 2023

World Bank president to visit Jamaica next week on 'new playbook' tour

Published:Saturday | June 10, 2023 | 9:28 AM
Ajay Banga, then-president and CEO of MasterCard, speaks during the US Africa Business Forum during the US Africa Leaders Summit in Washington on August 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Ajay Banga, the new president of the World Bank, will visit Jamaica and Peru next week to start an international tour aimed at crafting a "new playbook" for the 78-year-old global lender. 

The bank says between June and December 2023, Banga will visit multiple countries in every region where the World Bank Group operates.

"Banga will work to reimagine strategic partnerships with other multilateral banks and development organisations, work to identify barriers for private sector investment, deepen the relationships between the World Bank Group and the countries it serves, and identify opportunities to maximise impact through knowledge, financing, and technical assistance," said a statement issued Friday. 

“Aspirations of people around the world are universal – people are eager to work and want a better life for their children and grandchildren. They want jobs, they want quality of life,” said Banga.

“However, there is a diversity of challenges and countries are experiencing them differently. The World Bank Group must reach out to all of them and we need a new playbook to do it. That is the road we are on.”

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has long made calls for an urgent overhaul of the global financing architecture to help small island developing states like Jamaica survive the effects of climate change and grow their economies without incurring massive debts.

Over the course of the tour, Banga will visit small island states in the Pacific as well as countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, West and East Africa, Europe, and Asia.

On the Jamaica and Peru visits,  Banga will be joined by Inter-American Development Bank president Ilan Goldfajn. 

Banga started his role as the 14th World Bank Group president on June 2.

This is the second high-profile visit to Jamaica by a major development partner weeks.

Three weeks ago Holness hosted United Nations Secretary General António Guterres for a series of meetings. 

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