WASHINGTON, June 7 (UPI) -- World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz heads to Africa next week, a region he said Tuesday would be his top priority.
"The bank has a unique role to play in Africa, and there is a unique need for the bank in Africa," Wolfowitz, until recently the U.S. deputy Defense secretary, said during his first news conference as the World Bank's new president.
Wolfowitz will visit Nigeria, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, and South Africa June 12-18.
He said he plans to hear from heads of state, community leaders, women's groups and the people of villages and towns where the World Bank is now working.
World leaders will be gathering for several different events before the end of the year, including the Group of Eight summit next month in Scotland and the U.N. summit in September.
Wolfowitz said his visits to Africa would be of help ahead of the international forums.