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World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim is visiting Africa in his first official visit outside the U.S. since taking up his new position in July 2012.

He and Makhtar Diop, the World Bank’s Vice President for Africa,  will visit Côte d’Ivoire and South Africa this week to meet with national leaders, government ministers, women leaders and young people, along with business representatives, to discuss how the World Bank Group can better support African countries achieve higher economic growth, significantly reduce poverty, and create more jobs and opportunity for the people of the continent.

“Reducing poverty and creating opportunity for people to succeed are vital to the World Bank Group’s mission and I plan to continue to strengthen our work towards these goals. For this reason I chose Africa for my first official visit as World Bank Group President, recognizing the priority given by the continent’s governments to faster growth and less poverty.

In the past, Africa was often defined by its problems, but today, whether it’s empowering women or creating job opportunities for young people or spurring new businesses, Africa is increasingly home to some of the best development ideas and solutions,” said Dr. Kim. “Africa is truly taking off and I look forward to hearing directly from governments and people on the continent on how the Bank can help drive more inclusive development throughout Africa.”

Dr. Kim will also discuss with leaders in both countries the importance of stepped-up regional integration for Africa’s future. The continent loses billions of dollars in potential trade earnings every year because of high trade barriers with neighboring countries, making it is easier for Africa to trade with the rest of the world than with itself.

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