Ivanka Trump confirms she turned down World Bank top job

US White House advisor Ivanka Trump at a women's entrepreneurship event in Ivory Coast on April 17, 2019. Her father, US President Donald Trump, had asked her if she wanted the job of World Bank chief.
US White House advisor Ivanka Trump at a women's entrepreneurship event in Ivory Coast on April 17, 2019. Her father, US President Donald Trump, had asked her if she wanted the job of World Bank chief.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST - United States President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka has confirmed she declined the job of World Bank chief, saying she was "happy with the work" she is doing as White House adviser.

On a trip to Ivory Coast to promote a global women's initiative, Ms Trump told the Associated Press news agency in an interview that her father brought the job up with her as "a question", but she refused the offer.

Mr Trump had said last week he asked his daughter if she wanted the senior role "because she's very good with numbers", in comments reported by The Atlantic magazine.

The top job eventually went to US economist David Malpass, whose selection process involved Ms Trump. She added that Mr Malpass will do an "incredible job", AP reported.

The US has a longstanding, if informal, right to select the World Bank's leader.

When asked if Mr Trump had approached her about other top jobs, Ms Trump said she would "keep that between" the two of them, also ruling out a run for political office in her future, AP said.

Meanwhile, Ms Trump vowed support for initiatives to promote women in business on Wednesday (April 17), after visiting an Ivorian cocoa farm on the second leg of her African tour.

 
 

She was speaking at a forum on women's economic empowerment in Ivory Coast's main city of Abidjan, Reuters news agency reported. She arrived in Ivory Coast on Tuesday, after visiting Ethiopia.

"It's a social justice issue, it's an economic issue, it's a defence issue, and it just plain makes sense," Ms Trump said of women's economic empowerment in Africa.

But she added that "there are substantial barriers", such as lack of access to capital for 70 per cent of female business owners, and that women made up just 15 per cent of land owners on the continent.

Ms Trump is championing the Women's Global Development and Prosperity initiative, which officials have said aims to economically empower 50 million women by 2025.

Earlier, she visited a cocoa farm in Adzope, in south-eastern Ivory Coast, where she announced a US AID and World Cocoa Foundation initiative to give US$2 million (S$2.7 million) to female cocoa farmers.

Ivory Coast produces more than a third of the world's cocoa.