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FEATURE STORY

Responding to the DRC’s priorities: Interview with World Bank Country Director Ahmadou Moustapha Ndiaye

May 28, 2015


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KINSHASA, May 28, 2015 — At the helm of the World Bank Group country office in the Democratic Republic of Congo since January 2015, Ahmadou Moustapha Ndiaye shares his views on the way forward and the DRC’s path to becoming an emerging economy.

What is your assessment of these first one hundred days in office?

Ahmadou Moustapha Ndiaye: “The first thing I did was to analyze the Congolese environment. I think that a sound understanding of the country’s social and economic environment is essential if we truly wish to align the World Bank’s programs with the priorities of the government and the people. I can now say that this alignment exists and that the different projects in our portfolio contribute significantly to improving the living conditions of the people of the DRC.  The preliminary assessment was therefore very positive and revealed sound relationships with the government at both the central and sectoral levels.  We offer a rich program that responds to the DRC’s priorities, which is an excellent starting point.

In addition to the added value that we are already providing in terms of the country’s social and economic development, we are reflecting on how we can enhance our aid effectiveness.  Numerous challenges remain, particularly in the areas of health, the environment, and reform of the business climate.  A number of these challenges stem from the fact that the country is so vast.  What is important at the moment is that we build on what we have in order to obtain lasting results.”

The World Bank has quite a diverse portfolio in the DRC, ranging from water supply, to road development, to health, to nature conservation, to name a few.  What do you see as the priority areas?

Ahmadou Moustapha Ndiaye: “The diversity of our portfolio attests to the scope of our challenges.  Improvements can be made in all sectors.  This is why the World Bank is involved in all the sectors mentioned and in several others such as education and agriculture.  The challenge we face is making a choice between being involved in all these sectors throughout the country or concentrating our efforts on specific sectors in order to achieve a much more visible and lasting impact.  This is not an easy choice, but it is one that must be made.

In fact, we will take advantage of the mid-term review of our assistance program in the DRC to assess these issues and consider the possibility of consolidating our portfolio.  The World Bank might need to focus on a much smaller number of projects and make much bigger investments in them in order to produce a more lasting impact.”



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World Bank Country Director Ahmadou Moustapha Ndiaye


In your view, what challenges must be overcome in order to place the country on the path to becoming an emerging economy?

Ahmadou Moustapha Ndiaye: “One of the challenges we face is that of establishing greater linkages between our sectoral and geographic interventions.  If we can achieve this, we will be better able to help the country embark on a development path leading to emerging economy status.  Our contribution will be precisely to work with the government to chart this course and determine the objectives to be achieved.  When these objectives are clear, it will be easier to allocate resources.  We do not want to make random allocations.

 I also think that the DRC would benefit from adopting a development vision focused on the provinces, with each province having a tailored development plan that would contribute to the overall national development plan. This would allow all the people of the DRC to see themselves and their needs reflected in this vision.  It is an approach we will discuss with the government during the mid-term review of our program.”


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