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Nigerian Americans have long been known for their community’s intense cultural emphasis on education, and now an analysis of Census data coupled with several local surveys shows that Nigerians don't just value education, but surpass all other U.S. ethnic groups when it comes to obtaining degrees.
"Being Black, you are already at a disadvantage," Oluyinka Olutoye, an associate professor of pediatric surgery at Baylor College of Medicine, told the Houston Chronicle. "You really need to excel far above if you want to be considered for anything in this country."
According to 2006 census data, 37 percent of Nigerians in the U.S. had bachelor's degrees, 17 percent held master's degrees and 4 percent had doctorates. In contrast, the same census data showed only 19 percent of white Americans had bachelor’s degrees, 8 percent held master’s degrees and only 1 percent held doctorates, the paper reports.
The census data was bolstered by an independent analysis of 13 annual Houston-area surveys conducted by Rice University and commissioned by the Chronicle.
"These are higher levels of educational attainment than were found in any other...community," Stephen Klineberg, a sociologist at Rice University who conducts the annual Houston Area Survey, told the paper.
However, despite the strides in education made by many African immigrants, including Nigerian-Americans, discrimination still colors their prospects for employment. A study of 2010 employment data by the Economic Policy Institute showed that, across nationalities and ethnic groups, Black immigrants carried the highest unemployment rate of all foreign-born workers.
In addition to cultural expectations about obtaining higher education, the paper reports that many African immigrants are more likely to pursue higher education as a means of maintaining their immigrant status in the U.S.
"In a way, it's a Catch-22 — because of immigration laws you are forced to remain in school, but then the funny thing is you end up getting your doctorate at the age of 29," Amadu Jacky Kaba, an associate professor at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ, told the paper. "If you stay in school, immigration will leave you alone."
The inflation rate in Africa's most populous nation and second largest economy slowed down a little bit at 11.9 percent in February. It came as a surprise as the prevailing view stated that inflation will skyrocket due to partial removal of the fuel subsidy by President Goodluck Jonathan on January first of this year. Before the fuel subsidy removal inflation rate was hovering at 10.3 percent in December 2011. While in January it etched up to 12.6 percent and Sanusi's Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) predicted that inflation rate would reach up to 14.5 to 15 percent this year before it moderates to 10 percent in 2013.
Surprisingly, inflationary pressure is gradually winding down and 11.9 percent inflation rate shows that the devastating impact of fuel subsidy removal as expected was not biting so deep. The deflating price of food price index was the principal reason for the slowing inflation. The record from National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that food price index decreases from 13.1 percent in January to 12.9 percent in February. And this minor alteration in the food index does have a profound effect on the state of inflation because it accounts more than 50 percent of consumer price index (CPI). In the determination and tabulation of inflation rate the essential tool is consumer price index which constitutes the prices of foodstuff and consumer products including petroleum products.
The impact of the fuel subsidy removal which contracts disposal income with the rising price of the food and fuel products is a reality. Testament is seen when compared to the recent 12.9 percent food price index to that of last year which stood at 12.1 percent before the removal of fuel subsidy.
Sanusi's Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) retains the interest rate at 12 percent. That comes as no surprise after raising interest rates consecutively for six percentage points in a role to aggressively checkmate the rising inflationary trend and to reverse the losing value of naira. The Central Bank of Nigeria and its members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) have no need at this time to raise interest rate. The executive arm of the government is working with country's parliament to rein in spending in the current expenditure and for the country to live within its means.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its recent review of the country's economic activities urged the Sanusi's CBN to desist from the jacking up of the interest rate. The further tightening of the monetary tool to mop up liquidity maybe waning without any fiscal pact with the executive to contribute in taming inflation and sizing up naira value.
Hollywood newcomer Dayo Okeniyi has been thrust into the spotlight as Thresh, one of the Tributes in "The Hunger Games" who is, as he puts it in his Twitter bio, "the reason Katniss makes it to Catching Fire No biggie." Uh, yeah, it's a biggie! And so is Dayo, who moved to Los Angeles just a few years ago to become an actor. Hey, he's always got a bachelor's degree in Visual Communications Design if this whole "being awesome" thing doesn't work out. We suspect it will, though.
Age: 23 Hometown: Dayo grew up in Lagos, Nigeria. What He's Done: This is his first feature-length film!
ESSENCE: You're new to Hollywood. Share your background for those who don't know.
DAYO OKENIYI: I was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and I moved to Anderson, Indiana, in 2003 to go to school. I finished high school in America, then I went to college. I studied graphic design and advertising. But while I was there I did plays, so acting has always been my true love. And I did theater in Nigeria, too — I did a ton of plays when I was home.
ESSENCE: The Hunger Games is your first major movie. How did you land the role of Thresh?
OKENIYI: I moved to LA a couple years ago and I was lucky to land an indie feature right away. At that time, I was tipped off that there was a casting director looking for young actors. So, I followed up and performed for him and he was really impressed. He was like, "Who’s your agent, I’d love to get in touch. I have roles I’m casting for right now and I think you’d be perfect!" I was like, "Sir, I don’t have any representation." He then made a phone call and set me up with a manager. It was a victory just getting representation. The first audition my manger sent me on was The Hunger Games, and I got the role.
ESSENCE: For those who are unfamiliar with The Hunger Games, how would you describe your character? Also, did you have any challenges preparing for the part?
OKENIYI: The biggest challenge was the physical aspect of the role, training and getting in shape for the film. I would describe Thresh as this huge colossal figure. He’s definitely one of the favorites to win the Hunger Games. But he really has a soft heart. He doesn’t want to partake in the games, unlike those who actually train their whole lives and look forward to getting selected to go. Thresh doesn’t want anything to do with it. He tries to avoid conflicts at all times. But if he’s backed into a corner, he can do some damage. He’s not out for blood, he just wants to make it through the game and make it back to see his mom and his sister.
ESSENCE: Obviously this was a learning experience for you. What did you walk away with?
OKENIYI: If anything, it’s to keep a child-like awareness of the business. The biggest thing people tell me is that I’ll be jaded real soon and that the allure of filmmaking will lose its magic. Not necessarily the fame, but that special thing you create onscreen. Someone like Stanley Tucci was so excited to be on-set everyday. You’d think he was on the movie set for the first time because of how he excited he was. Also, I learned you can be professional and absolutely love what you’re doing. It doesn’t have to be a chore.
ESSENCE: You have a long career ahead of you. Who is someone you look up in the industry?
OKENIYI: Denzel Washington is someone I look up to. I loved him in Training Day! There have been days when I keep that movie on loop. Just his choices are so great. He’s so relaxed on screen, it’s incredible. At the end of the day, as actors, we try to embody a character and try to create somebody real. Also, I admire actors like Josh Brolin and Will Smith. These are actors who consistently put out great work. I like to look at not necessarily who’s hot right now, but the body of work and the way they’ve picked their projects, the way they’ve been able to stay relevant and do different things.
History was made when the highly indebted Greece received 53.5 percent write down restructuring on her initial debt deal from its sovereign bondholders. The struggling southern European nation "Greece implemented the biggest debt write-down in history ... swapping the bulk of its privately-held bonds with new ones worth less than half their original value. Although the exchange will keep Greece solvent and at the receiving end of billions in international rescue loans, markets were underwhelmed amid fears that the country's debt load still remains far too heavy,” Associated Press reported.
To enforce the debt swap the application of collective action clauses was utilized to approach the rate of 95.7 percent as was confirmed by Greece finance department. The Greece bond holders will be losing 53.5 percent of the face value of the original bonds. As this deal went through it will lower Greece debt by $190 billion and prepare the country for the second round European bail-out.
Bloomberg stated that "Holders of at least 60 percent of the Greek bonds eligible for the deal, including Greece’s largest banks, most of the country’s pension funds and more than 30 European banks and insurers including BNP Paribas SA and Commerzbank AG (CBK), have agreed to the offer. That brings the total to at least 125 billion euros ($166 billion), based on data compiled by Bloomberg from company reports and government statements."
Associated Press further reported that the scope and dimension of the deal was made known by statement issued by Greece Finance Ministry that the “bonds issued under Greek law with a total face value of €177.2 billion ($232.5 billion) were exchanged. A smaller batch worth €28.5 billion, issued under foreign law or by state enterprises, will be swapped in coming weeks."
Nigeria during her exit from 2006 Paris Club of Creditors was granted a merely 18 percent write down for her $36 billion she owned to mostly European creditors. At the end of the deal Nigeria paid almost $(15-20) billion to pay off the debt. The international media made sure that every person and hamlet heard about the 'wonderful and generous’ news on how Nigeria has been offered a great helping hand from the Paris club of Creditors. The only one thing that was missing on the news report was the original principal amount Nigeria owned and the subsequent higher interest rates and arrears that made it possible to transfer such an enormous wealth to the foreign syndicates.
Greece is not by any means a third world nation, it has modern infrastructures and her people are relatively secured. Greece has 24 hours electricity, clean and treated drinking water gushing out from the water pumps, paved roads together with well paid, trained and equipped police force that maintained peace and order. Greece has political stability and security that made it possible to attract investors. All things being equal, why was Greece given this enormous write down and Nigeria a relatively poor and third world country was not given a quantifiable break that will make a difference in the lives of average Nigerians?
At the time Nigeria was convinced to transfer almost $20 billion to first world and developed nations mostly in the continental Europe, seventy percent of Nigerians were living in penury poverty and depravity surviving with less than $1 per day. The ugly head of AIDS/HIV virus was enveloping the nation and the healthcare facility was in dire straits. Nigeria's high infant mortality rate was among the highest in the world averaging 200-300 per 1000 live births. Nigerian educational system was in shambles and teachers' salaries in most cases were insufficient and were rarely paid on time. There was and still poor security, the protection of lives and property were minimal. Yet with all these wellbeing abysmal indices Nigeria received only 18 percent write-down even with the ever and continuous servicing of the debt from time immemorial.
Many of these nations in southern hemisphere especially in Africa have to qualify as a Heavily Poor indebted countries (HPIC) before they can receive debt relief and write down. Many African nations that were struggling to pay their debts were saddle with austerity measures before they qualifying for HPIC and these stringent conditions and criteria are back breaking. The prescriptions have become more deadly than the disease - those conditional ties leave them poorer with infant industries porous to protection, less productive, weaken currencies and in financial shambles. But Greece has not even implement its own austerity measures before she received 53.5 percent write down on its first debt deal.
To further compensate Greece for mustering the courage to make debt deal, IMF just approved euro28 billion ($36.56 billion) for Greece. The European Investment Bank (EIB) will soon be putting a finishing touch to disburse $1.31 billion to Greece.
The goodies are still flowing into Greece, Reuters reported, “Greece averted the immediate threat of an uncontrolled default on Friday, winning strong acceptance from its private creditors for a bond swap deal which will eat into its mountainous public debt and clear the way for a new bailout” and now "With euro zone ministers set to approve the 130 billion euro ($172 billion) rescue."
International Monetary Fund (IMF) was quite impressed with the just concluded deal made by Greece that was why it approved euro28 billion ($36.56 billion) in the absence of austerity measures that suppose to come when Greece will make its second debt deal. IMF is now logical even patient and benevolent to Greece. But IMF did not have any qualms counseling Nigeria to remove fuel subsidy for a nation that barely provide any social program to its masses. IMF did not see anything wrong for a poor country with over 170 million population to make a payment that was too perplexing for a nation struggling on how to feed its bulging poor population.
There was a back drop that probably made it possible for Greece to successfully complete the debt deal. Last December the energetic and trail blazer Mario Draghi, the head of Europen Central Bank (ECB) lower the interest rate to 1 percent and pumped in 500 billion euros into the euro zone monetary base. With the interest rate of 1 percent, Europen Central Bank (ECB) has just started to play a vital role in eurozone's monetary policy and this is a gutsy role for once a low key and timid ECB. With problem of liquidity solved, the solvent banks and private financial institutions were ebullient and energetic to participate in adjusting the economic wellbeing of eurozone.
This is how Reuters put it: "Mario Draghi, 64, has taken the helm of the euro zone's most important institution in the midst of Europe's deepest financial crisis since World War Two. He faces a seemingly impossible mission: satisfying German demands to focus on the ECB's main mandate of ensuring price stability, while at the same time dealing with market and political pressure from other countries to steer Europe out of a debt crisis that has engulfed Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and even his native Italy. The back-to-back rate cuts took the euro zone's interest rate to a record low of 1.0 percent. But they also sent a clear message that Draghi's ECB would be decisive, pragmatic and prepared to ignore its powerful German contingent."
The point must be succinctly made that no one is suggesting that Nigeria and African nations should not deleverage their debts and fulfill their financial obligations. Greece has shown that the private sector and international financial institutions could be logical when they deem it necessary. Africa also deserves same treatment.
Wade already had sought a third term in office even though he himself had revised the constitution to impose a two-term maximum, and some feared he would not step aside if opposition candidate Macky Sall won Sunday's vote. However, state television reported only several hours after the polls closed that Wade had congratulated Sall, his one-time protege.
President Abdoulaye Wade
"The results coming in indicated that Mr. Macky Sall had won. As I had always promised, I called him Sunday night to congratulate him," Wade said in a statement that was released to reporters early Monday. Even before Wade conceded, Sall's supporters began celebrating in the streets of the capital, singing and marching through downtown Dakar. Some even danced on the roofs of moving vehicles, and one man did a cartwheel amid the traffic near the Place de l'Independance.
Sociologist Hadiya Tandian said that Wade's concession washes away the wounds of a violent election season, which left at least six people dead and tarnished the country's reputation.
"This is a great victory for Senegal — it shows the maturity of our democracy," Tandian said. "It shows that the Senegalese believe in their voter IDs, that a voter card can change something, can make a difference. It shows that our long democratic heritage continues to live in us day by day." Wade's concession further solidifies Senegal's reputation as a mature democracy in a region better known for strongman rule and power grabs. In neighboring Mali, the president of a decade was ousted last week in a coup led by mutinous soldiers not long before he was due to step down anyway.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy praised the peaceful election in Senegal, which won independence from France in 1960.
Opposition candidate Macky Sall
"It's very good news for Africa, in general, and Senegal, in particular," Sarkozy said on France Info radio. "When you see what's happening in Mali, it's a reason for hope for all of Africa." At a midnight press conference at a Dakar hotel, Sall offered few details on the conversation he had with Wade earlier in the evening. Instead, he praised the voters and said he would be the president for all Senegalese.
"Tonight, a new era begins for Senegal," Sall told the hundreds of journalists and euphoric supporters who crammed into the venue to hear him speak.
Whereas most African countries began holding elections post-independence in the 1960s, the Senegalese first cast their ballots 164 years ago starting in 1848 when France gave its territory the right to elect a deputy to the French parliament.
Wade himself first took office in 2000 after his predecessor graciously conceded in a historic moment for Senegal. He easily won re-election in 2007, but has seen his popularity suffer amid soaring costs of living and unemployment. When he cast his ballot last month in the first round of balloting, some voters even booed him at the poll shouting: "Old man, get lost." His image also was tarnished after he began giving an increasing share of power to his son Karim, who was derisively called "the Minister of the Sky and the Earth" after he was handed control of multiple ministries including infrastructure and energy.
Wade's reputation took a nosedive when he announced last year that he planned to run for a third term. For weeks leading up to last month's election, protesters calling for Wade to step down hurled rocks at police in demonstrations that paralyzed the capital's economic heart.
In recent weeks, images of Wade on campaign posters had their eyes scratched out. And his convoy was hit by rocks in the final days of the runoff campaign.
Marieme Ousmane Wele, 55, said she had voted for Sall because the rising prices of basic goods have made her life increasingly difficult.
"I sell cereal made from corn but the price of corn has really gone up. Now, I don't have many customers and it's becoming difficult to feed my own family," she said, as men sat nearby on plastic lawn chairs in the sand listening to news about the election on portable radios.
Others, though, praised Wade for the economic progress made during his 12 years in power. At a polling station in the suburb of Grand Yoff, Raymonde Semou, 64, said Sunday she personally credited Wade with helping two of her six children find work.
"Before, I had to sell grilled peanuts to feed my family and it was very difficult for me," she said.
Now, her employed sons have bought land to build a house, and she adds there is now electricity in her hometown in Senegal's restive southern Casamance region.
Sall, 50, a former prime minister who ran Wade's last campaign in 2007, is a geologist by training who worked for years under Wade. The two, though, had a subsequent falling out and during the campaign Wade referred to Sall as an apprentice who had not yet taken in "the lessons of his mentor."
Most voters simply spoke of change rather than Sall's credentials when explaining whom they supported at the polls on Sunday.
Dr. Johny Assane said he voted for Wade in 2000 but has since become disillusioned. While he says he is financially secure, he has seen how others have failed to benefit from Wade's leadership. "The situation of my patients who come to get medicine in my office has really deteriorated," he said. "Everywhere there are children whose parents are finding it difficult to pay for their treatment and that shows me that the country is not working."
Associated Press writers Rukmini Callimachi and Tomas Faye contributed to this report.
Krista Larson can be reached at www.twitter.com/klarsonafrica.
Malian soldiers Sunday repelled a fresh attack by Tuareg rebels in the north following a coup as the junta struggled to restore order after ousting the west African nation's president.
The Tuareg had said they were advancing on the key northern town of Kidal, but a military official in the town told AFP the rebels had been pushed back.
"Today we repelled an attack by Islamist rebels," a military official in Kidal told AFP on condition of anonymity, referring to one of two rebel movements fighting for independence of the traditional homeland of the desert nomads.
The desert tribes in January launched their first rebellion since 2009 in a decades-old demand for independence, boosted by the return of heavily-armed battle-hardened fighters from Libya who served late dictator Moamer Kadhafi.
Their forces overwhelmed the weak Malian army, and scores of soldiers are said to have been killed and captured, causing anger among troops over the way the conflict is being handled by the government.
Angry soldiers revolted in Bamako Wednesday, leading to a full-blown coup early Thursday as they seized government buildings and forced the president to flee.
Junta leader Captain Amadou Sanogo has invited the rebels to hold talks and begin a "peace process" as he tries to restore order.
Bamako was tense on Sunday with few people venturing out as security forces patrolled the streets.
Banks and most shops were shut in the usually bustling city, although some petrol stations have reopened after being asked to do so by the junta.
President Amadou Toumani Toure's whereabouts are unknown, but he is believed to be safe under the protection of his loyalist paratrooper guard, while 14 members of his government detained by the putschists have threatened a hunger strike.
"There are 14 of us in a room of 12 square metres, sleeping three to a mattress. Our basic rights are being violated," said a message from one of the officials sent to AFP.
They are being held at the Kati military barracks outside Bamako where Sanogo is seeking to reinforce the impression of control, holding meetings and making several public declarations.
He met French ambassador Christian Rouyer and other dignitaries on Saturday, state television reported, but the junta has been largely frozen out by the international community in a chorus of rebukes and suspension of aid.
On Sunday, Nairobi announced that the Kenyan and Zimbabwean foreign ministers were evacuated by a chartered flight after being stranded in Mali following the coup.
After widespread looting by soldiers in the coup aftermath, the junta urged "all those in uniform to report to their barracks for an inspection" and reminded unit commanders they were responsible for their men.
On Saturday Sanogo took to the television to show he was still alive and douse rumours of a counter-attack by loyalist troops.
The Tuareg rebels said in the wake of the coup they would continue their offensive, and The Islamist rebel group Ansar Dine, or Defenders of Faith in Arabic, said Saturday its fighters had surrounded Kidal.
"Thanks to Allah the almighty and his blessings, we will soon take our land in Kidal," said a statement from the group.
While Ansar Dine is demanding the imposition of Islamic law, the other rebel group, the Azawad National Liberation Movement (MNLA) has distanced itself from religious objectives.
Mali will on Monday will mark the 21st anniversary of the last coup, when Toure led the overthrow of dictator Moussa Traore and steered the country to its first democratic election a year later for which he is considered a hero.
After Mali's democratic advances in the past two decades, Thursday's coup alarmed the international community which reacted with swift condemnation.
The African Union temporarily suspended Mali, while Europe and Canada froze aid and the United States has threatened to follow suit.
A joint mission from the African Union and Economic Community of West African States met representatives of the junta on Friday, according to Mali state television, without giving further details.
ECOWAS heads of state will hold an emergency meeting in Abidjan on Tuesday, the day the junta has called for civil servants to return to work.
Nigeria ranks among the top countries with high number of malnourished children in Africa, surpassing Ethiopia, Managing Director of the United States Agency for International Development, Tim Prewitt, has said.
He said this yesterday in Abuja at a forum of USAID/Maximizing Revenue and Key Enterprises in Targeted Sites (MARKETS) family nutritional support programme which started in 2008.
The MARKETS was to address food insecurity and malnutrition in orphans and vulnerable children households through direct distribution of food supplements and enterprise nutrition and homestead skills for care givers.
Prewitt said more than one billion people, nearly one-sixth of the World's population, suffer from chronic hunger, with 3.5 million children dying every year. He said the number of stunted children in the world will be 450 million in the next 15 years.
Speaking, the Programme Manager of the project, Bassey Archibong said that malnutrition in Nigeria is a growing problem which is strongly linked to social and economic issues.
Archibong said: "Nigeria has more malnourished children than Ethiopia. States in northern Nigeria have the highest numbers of malnourished children in the country. Also, orphans and vulnerable children whose families have been infected or affected by HIV/AIDS are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity and malnutrition.
Waraka, 30, feeds her newborn baby, Rokia, at home, in Northern Nigeria. At the time of giving birth she was malnourished and couldn't produce enough breast milk to feed Rokia and her twin properly. The babies started to show signs of malnutrition. Rokia's twin died from malnutrition only 13 days after being born. Nigeria has one of the highest numbers of hungry children in all of Africa. (Telegraph UK) Picture: PEP BONET / NOOR
"Nearly 1.2 million children in Nigeria are orphaned as a result of AIDS, and more others are vulnerable because their families are affected by HIV/AIDS."
He said that over 70,000 malnourished orphans and vulnerable children have been reached.
He said that care givers from orphans and malnourished children households who participated in the training, gained practical cross cutting skills in micro enterprise nutrition and homestead farming.
"As a result, participants now understand the relationship between income and nutrition, which is critical to ending the cycle of poverty and malnutrition. Sixty percent of participants reported savings for the first time while 77 percent of care givers now have homestead farms up by 24 percent from what it was before training," he said.
Source: DAILY TRUST
President Barack Obama will nominate Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim to head the World Bank, a surprise pick for the international financial institution's top job, senior administration officials said.
The Korean-born Kim is a physician by training and a prominent figure in global health and development circles. Officials believe his experience will help counter criticism from developing countries that have grown weary of the U.S. stranglehold on the World Bank presidency.
Obama took a strong personal interest in filling the World Bank vacancy after current president Robert Zoellick announced in February he was stepping down. Obama and his advisers considered more than a dozen candidates, including well-known figures in the administration. But in the end, officials said, Obama pushed for a nominee with broad development experience and was particularly drawn to Kim's innovative work fighting the spread of AIDS and tuberculosis.
The 187-nation World Bank focuses on fighting poverty and promoting development. It is a leading source of development loans for countries seeking financing to build dams, roads and other infrastructure projects.
Obama was to announce Kim's nomination Friday during a White House Rose Garden event.. The president was to be joined by Kim as well as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, a Dartmouth alumnus, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who officials said was the first to recommend Kim for the job.
The officials requested anonymity in order to speak ahead of the president's announcement.
Former President Bill Clinton also weighed in with support for Kim during Obama's deliberations. In a statement, the former president applauded Kim's nomination. "Jim Kim is an inspired and outstanding choice to lead the World Bank based on his years of commitment and leadership to development and particularly health care and AIDS treatment across the world," he said.
Since its founding in 1944, the World Bank always has been headed by an American. Developing countries have long sought to gain more power in the World Bank as well as its sister lending organization, the International Monetary Fund, which always has been headed by a European.
While U.S. and European officials have voiced support for those efforts, the status quo remains, with France's Christine Lagarde holding the top spot at the IMF and Kim's candidacy for World Bank president all but certain to prevail.
The actual selection will be made next month by the World Bank's 25-member executive board. The United States, as the world's largest economy, has the largest percentage of the votes.
Developing nations are expected to put forward as many as three candidates, including Jose Antonio Ocampo, a Columbia University professor who had been finance minister for Colombia, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria's finance minister.
Economist Jeffrey Sachs, the director of Columbia University's Earth Institute, has openly campaigned for the World Bank post, saying the position should be filled by an expert in development issues.
Obama administration officials said the pick was already being well-received in the developing world. After learning of Kim's nomination, Rwandan President Paul Kagame said the physician was "a true friend of Africa" and "a leader who knows what it takes to address poverty."
Kim is expected to travel around the world on a listening tour to rally support for his nomination ahead of the World Bank vote.
The World Bank opening put Obama in the awkward position of choosing between his desire to be seen as a supporter of rising economic powers and the pressures of a political year in which support for a non-U.S. candidate could have opened him to criticism.
"If the administration had pushed a non-American for the job, this could have been attacked as Obama fostering the decline of American influence in the world," said former IMF official Eswar Prasad, now an economics professor at Cornell University. "In an election year, Obama would have been accused of caving in to outside pressures and not being willing to protect U.S. interests."
Obama picked Kim over several more well-known candidates, including Susan Rice, current U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.; and Lawrence Summers, Obama's former director of the National Economic Council.
Others mentioned for the World Bank post included Indra Nooyi, the head of soft drink company PepsiCo, and Laura D'Andrea Tyson, who served in top economic jobs in the Clinton administration.
Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea, and moved to the U.S. at age 5. He is a graduate of Brown University and Harvard University. He co-founded the global health organization Partners in Health and served as director of the World Health Organization's department of HIV/AIDS.
He began his tenure as president of Dartmouth in 2009, becoming the first Asian-American to lead an Ivy League institution.
AP Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger contributed to this report.
South Africa, Angola and Nigeria will nominate Nigeria's Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to be the next president of the World Bank, a South African official familiar with the discussions said Thursday.
The countries will submit Ms. Okonjo-Iweala's nomination by Friday's deadline, said the official, who declined to be named because they weren't authorized to discuss the negotiations.
South Africa, Angola and Nigeria share an executive director's office to represent their interests at the World Bank. An aide to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan confirmed the bloc's plans to nominate her.
"Yes, there's a very strong move to nominate her, and this move is actually backed strongly by [South Africa'] President Jacob Zuma," said the aide, who spoke anonymously because he wasn't authorized to discuss the negotiations. The Nigerian Finance Ministry was unavailable for immediate comment.
The aide also said that her bid had the support of Ivory Coast, an important neighbor to Nigeria in West Africa.
The South African official wouldn't say whether South Africa had agreed to support Ms. Okonjo-Iweala's candidacy on the condition that Nigeria back South Africa's choice to lead the African Union.
In January, Nigeria was among the countries that blocked South Africa's bid to put forward its home minister to replace the African Union's president, Jean Ping of Gabon. The vote ended in a stalemate that the pan-African organization's members have yet to resolve.
World Bank member countries have until Friday to submit nominees to replace Robert Zoellick of the U.S., who said recently he will step down in June, as expected, after five years in the top job. The position traditionally goes to an American, while a European holds the top job at the International Monetary Fund, but in recent years emerging powers have lobbied for their nationals to lead both organizations.
The project, which is contained in Vision 20:2020 economic plan, they argued might not be achieved because the measures needed to address the forces hindering the growth of the business sector were still lacking.
In separate interview with The Guardian on the vision, the industry players listed the threats to the initiative as high cost of funds and dearth of long-term funds; influx of finished goods from abroad, particularly Asia; weak linkages between small and large enterprises; weak research and development support and dearth of strategic industries such as the steel and the petrochemicals.
Others, according to them, are unstable power supply, poor road network, absence of a master-plan for railway development, rising cost of automotive oil and gas, as well as uncoordinated tax administration.
The operators said Nigerian manufacturers, small-scale businesses and families spend over N3.504.800 trillion yearly on diesel and petrol generating sets yearly due to unstable supply of electricity, which has remained unaddressed by past and even the present government.
The Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Muda Yusuf, stressed the need for the government to address the gap in infrastructural development, using the country’s untapped human and natural resources.
Other industry leaders argued that for the Vision 20:2020 to be attainable, the manufacturing sector must contribute not less than 25 per cent yearly for a set period against the three per cent, which the sector now contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Yusuf urged the government to declare a state of emergency in the power sector if it is serious about the 20:2020 dream.
“It is expected that the government will urgently take drastic steps to ensure the efficient performance of the power sector, as most manufacturing firms have relocated to other West African nations because of the power sector crisis.
“The government should focus on power and energy, agriculture and food security, wealth and job creation, mass transportation, land reforms, security, qualitative and functional education and of course, the Niger Delta would turn around the nation’s economy and make possible the realisation of the Vision 20:2020 dream.
“With 20:2020 being only eight years away, this is definitely a tall order, especially in the light of where we are at the moment. But a great deal of impact could be made if there is the political will and sincere commitment to make things happen.”
Also, the President, Nigeria Union of Traders, Ken Ukaoha, said the industrial sector had been abandoned by successive governments and the inability of the private sector to brace up to the challenges of globalisation and competitiveness.
The sector, according to him, has therefore remained prostrate and add less value to the economy for over three decades.
Ukaoha said: “Indeed, the industrial sector has been dominated by exploitation of natural resources, specifically crude and natural gas. Unfortunately, while the exploration ought to have actuated maximisation of benefits in the nation’s hydrocarbon resources (petro-chemicals), what we rather have is an industrial sector that generates its own power, and depends on long queues for imported and exorbitant fuel.
“We urge a shift from the “siddon look” attitude of political appointees to a purely technical and project-driven governance where performance is evaluated on the basis of measurable outputs and actual impacts. This is the only way Nigeria can grow and remain in line with the nation’s strategic development plan represented by Vision 20:2020 framework,” he said.
Source: The Guardian Newspaper