World Bank Makes Diop First African to Head Private Sector’s IFC

The World Bank Group named longtime vice president Makhtar Diop to head the International Finance Corp., making him the first African to lead the development lender’s arm for the private sector.

Diop, currently serving as the World Bank’s vice president for infrastructure, takes over the IFC at the beginning of March, President David Malpass said in a statement Thursday.

Diop will help the World Bank to “continue our rapid response to the global crisis and help build a green, resilient, inclusive recovery,” Malpass said.

The Washington-based World Bank expects to deploy as much as $160 billion in grants and financial support over 15 months through June to help countries deal with the health, economic and social shocks from the global pandemic.

Diop spent six years as the World Bank’s vice president for Africa, where he oversaw a major expansion of the lender’s work and a record $70 billion in commitments, and previously worked as a country director for Brazil and for Kenya, Eritrea and Somalia, the World Bank said. He’s also a former economy and finance minister of Senegal.

Philippe Le Houerou, the previous head of the IFC, left at the end of September.