Johannesburg - The finance ministers of South Africa,
Nigeria and Angola called a news conference for Friday likely to address
reports that they are backing Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to
become president of the World Bank.
"The finance ministers of Angola, Nigeria and South
Africa are meeting in Pretoria tomorrow," a statement from South Africa's
Treasury said, without giving details of the agenda.
Okonjo-Iweala and former Colombian finance minister Jose
Antonio Ocampo are set to make the first concerted challenge to the US grip on
the top job at the World Bank, sources told Reuters this week.
Brazil said this week that both Okonjo-Iweala and Ocampo
would be "great" candidates to replace Robert Zoellick as head of the
Washington-based development institution, the latest sign of emerging nations
wanting more say in how it is run.
Washington has held the presidency since the bank's founding
after World War Two, while a European has always led its sister organisation,
the International Monetary Fund.
Despite the push by emerging nations, the United States has
the bank's largest voting share and is expected to win the support of most
developed nations, making it likely that another American will succeed
The United States has yet to identify a nominee.