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The World Bank has named Senegalese national Makhtar Diop as the new managing director of its private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation effective March 1.

He becomes the first African to head the institution.

Mr Diop, a former Minister of Economy and Finance in the West African country, is currently serving as World Bank’s vice president for infrastructure, overseeing the lender’s work across energy, transport, and digital development sectors.

“Diop has deep development and finance experience and a career of energetic leadership and service to developing countries in both public and private sectors,” World Bank President David Malpass said on Thursday.