South Africa and Angola announced their support for Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala's candidature for president of the World Bank at a joint press conference on Friday.
"We are very proud as Africans to confirm that she is going to be a candidate. She has vast experience as a finance minister and has spent many years at the World Bank, at a senior level," said Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in Pretoria with Angolan minister of planning Ana Dias Lourenco.
"We believe the candidature of minister Okonjo-Iweala enables those that are going to make these decisions in Washington to have before them an eminently qualified individual who can balance the needs of both developed and developing countries, and also provide a new vision and a sense of mission to the World Bank," he said.
Okonjo-Iweala, who was at the Pretoria briefing, said she shared the institution's vision of fighting poverty.
"I look forward to a contest of very strong candidates. Am I confident? Absolutely," she said.
Nominations for the post close on Friday [March 23] and the selection process of shortlisted candidates would be completed around April 20, said Gordhan.
He said the US was also expected to field a candidate on Friday and there could be "surprises" by the end of the nomination process.