World Bank President Ajay Banga addressed the G20 Leaders Summit in September in New Delhi during the “One Future” session. Reflecting on the profound changes that had reshaped the world since the institution’s inception, he said the world was grappling with multiple interconnected challenges. Banga stressed the need for a fresh approach to development and a renewed sense of urgency.
Acknowledging the global struggles against poverty, the existential climate crisis, food insecurity, fragility, ongoing pandemic recovery, widening disparity, and border conflicts in Europe, he underscored the complexity and interdependence of these issues.
Urgency for solutions
The World Bank President lauded the G20 New Delhi Declaration, commending Prime Minister Narendra Modi and all G20 members for placing the World Bank at the core of the quest for solutions. Banga emphasised that the World Bank was designed to confront formidable challenges. But to make a meaningful impact, it must embrace greater risk-taking, harness private sector financing, and cultivate a profound sense of urgency.
This urgency, he explained, serves as the driving force behind crafting a new playbook for impactful development. Banga highlighted the borderless nature of contemporary challenges and stressed that failure to collaborate collectively would result in losses for all.
Under the auspices of their Evolution Roadmap, the World Bank is undergoing transformation, aiming to become a more efficient institution that prioritises outcomes over processes. Their focus has shifted to metrics that measure real impact, such as the number of girls in schools, jobs created, and private sector investments mobilised.
In a world where complex challenges defy national boundaries, Banga called for a united approach to global issues. His appeal resonates with the evolving landscape of international development.
The World Bank has been actively engaged with the G20, contributing to the Summit with documents like the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion, which recognises the transformative impact of Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) in India.
Additionally, the Bank has provided the G20 with the Basic Set of Financial Inclusion data repository, offering comprehensive data from users and providers of financial services, and the G20 Financial Inclusion Indicators, assessing the status of financial inclusion and digital financial services both nationally and globally.
Ajay Banga’s address at India’s G20 Leaders Summit was a homecoming of sorts, as he grew up in India, studied in Indian institutions, and has notably not pursued any courses abroad, adding a unique perspective to his leadership of the World Bank.