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.”