Today Ambassador Andrew Young and I co-hosted a special screening of Andrew Young produced RWANDA RISING at the World Bank with World Bank President Paul D. Wolfowitz. The film was produced by Young, but also funded by Young and his Andrew Young Foundation, along with support from Toyota USA. Young literally took money out of his pocket to make sure the dignity of Rwanda was evidenced for all the world to see. It is also a wonderfully appropriate message for this time at the World Bank, as the film focuses on the power of forgiveness, peace and reconciliation.
This week is Mr. Wolfowitz’s final week at the bank, and while some of my friends I know, may have their own unique opinions as to how he ran the bank, and the manner in which we made certain decisions while at the bank — one thing is clear and without dispute — Paul D. Wolfowitz made Africa a priority while president of the World Bank. That was and is the bottom line for me, and this point was underscored today, and evidenced by all the African Ambassadors in attendance, and the extremely complimentary comments made by the Rwandan Ambassador to the United States James Kimonyo.
Frankly, Operation HOPE would not be on the ground and operational today in South Africa, with Banking on Our Future, South Africa, had it not been for the early support given our efforts by Mr. Wolfowitz, the IFC and the World Bank. President Wolfowitz was also the keynote speaker at the first ever Anacostia Economic Summit outside Washington, D.C. in May of last year; something no former World Bank president has ever done. Check out my commentary entitled "The Other Paul Wolfowitz."
I am not saying Paul Wolfowitz is perfect, but I am saying "thank you" Paul Wolfowitz, for what you did for Africa at the World Bank. "I like what you did do, much more than what others did not do." Results matter.
Onward with HOPE
John Hope Bryant