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Office of the President

Africa as a Priority
South Africa Trip, June 2005

Leaving people behind in this world is a formula for failure — for us all."

Mr. Wolfowitz has just completed a tour of Africa, his first official travel as President, during which he visited Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Rwanda and South Africa. He met with government and civil society leaders, business people, farmers, educators and students, in an effort to take the pulse of the continent and begin working with Africans on their development programs.

The trip underscored his commitment to Africa as a priority for the World Bank, and helped demonstrate his belief that Africa is a continent of hope.  As he looked back on his experiences, Mr. Wolfowitz vowed that "the World Bank will do all it can to help Africa." 


A Unique Role —In an interview with the South African Broadcasting Corporation, Mr. Wolfowitz talks about the unique role the Bank plays in Africa.


A Continent of Hope —At each stop on his trip, Mr. Wolfowitz encountered optomism and a willingness to tackle development challenges in NigeriaBurkina FasoRwanda and South Africa.

arrowDebt, Corruption and other Issues —In a apeech to the Corporate Council on Africa, Mr. Wolfowitz described his impressions of the continent and outlined what he learned from his meetings with African leaders.

Views from the Trip —A visual tour as Mr. Wolfowitz meets with village groups, children, local officials and others in Nigeria Burkina Faso,  Rwanda and South Africa

Recent Events:

Sending a Message about Africa  — June 23 
In a speech in Baltimore, Maryland to The Corporate Council on Africa, Mr. Wolfowitz addressed a range of issues confronting the continent, such as managing debt relief, fighting corruption, fostering trade and improving governance.

Coordinated Tsunami Relief — June 23 
The Bank has committed more than US$835 million to help countries devastated by December’s tsunami. More important, Mr. Wolfowitz says, is that the work is being done in co-ordination with the international community to ensure resources are used effectively and transparently.

A Can-Do Attitude in Africa — June 21 
As he arrived in South Africa, the final stop on his Africa tour, Mr. Wolfowitz said that in his many encounters, "I’ve seen very talented people ready to tackle the problems and challenges facing them." adding that, "The World Bank will do all it can to help Africa."

Growing on the Ashes of Conflict June 17 
Rwanda, Mr Wolfowitz met with the head of State H.E. Paul Kagame, the cabinet, private sector and women's group. He also toured the National Genocide Memorial Museum, a flower farm and the shanty Biryogo neighborhood.

Urging Burkina Faso to Persevere     June 17  
Burkina Faso Trip June 2005Mr. Wolfowitz commended Burkina Faso's record of steady economic growth over the past decade, along with strong management in the crucial cotton sector. He said the Bank will remain a “strong voice” for significant reductions in agricultural subsidies through the Doha Round of global trade talks.

Taking the Pulse in Nigeria   June 14
As his Africa tour continues, Mr. Wolfowitz spent two very full days in Nigeria, full of enthusiastic crowds and emotional one-on-one conversations with AIDS activists and women’s advocates. His goal was to learn about development challenges that Africans face, and hear what they think of the institution he now heads.

Visit to Nigeria, Praise for Debt Relief Plan  June 13
Nigeria AIDS Clinic Visit, June 2005On his first official trip as president, Mr. Wolfowitz visited a village of Ruga Fulani nomads, toured an AIDS clinic, and met with government and civil society officials in Nigeria. Earlier, he attended the G-8 Finance Ministers meeting in Lodon, which agreed to cancel $40 billion in debt owed by 18 of the world's poorest nations — most of them in Africa. “I'm really delighted … because I think it's a very important, successful outcome,” he said.

Four-Nation Tour to Africa  June 7
Mr. Wolfowitz announced he will visit Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Rwanda and South Africa June 12-18, to hear from African leaders and local communities how the continent can make greater strides in reducing the poverty that afflicts hundreds of millions of its people.

Assessing Tsunami Relief  June 3
Mr. Wolfowitz met with former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, and other key stakeholders at the United Nations to review efforts to rebuild countries hit by December's Tsunami.

An Urgent Development Agenda   June 1
July's G8 summit of the world’s richest countries could mark a new beginning in development assistance for the world’s poor countries, especially in Africa, said Mr. Wolfowitz in an interview marking his first day as President.

Statement upon Confirmation — Mar 31
Mr. Wolfowitz thanked the Bank's Board of Directors for their vote of confidence and reflected on his meetings with government leaders following his nomination, adding that, "The next six months are a key period of decision making on international development policy, particularly leading up to the UN Summit in September on the Millennium Development Goals."

Bank Board Approves Appointment   Mar 31
The Bank's Executive Directors unanimously selected Paul Wolfowitz to succeed James Wolfensohn as President, effective June 1, 2005.

Meeting with the Group of 11   Mar 31
Executive Directors representing 108 developing and transition country members of the World Bank Group met with Mr. Wolfowitz, who embraced the Bank’s mandate of economic development and poverty reduction, and endorsed the strategic direction of the Bank to strengthen its role as a multilateral mechanism for development financing.




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