Profile: Steffi Stallmeister, PNG Country Manager, World Bank


Infrastructure development and improving the agricultural sector are the two key focusses for World Bank financing in Papua New Guinea. But, on a personal level, it is education and its potential that inspires its PNG Country Manager, Steffi Stallmeister. She spoke to Business Advantage PNG.

The World Bank's Steffi Stallmeister

The World Bank’s Steffi Stallmeister

Education is a powerful driver of development and is one of the strongest instruments for reducing poverty and inequality as well as improving health and gender equality, says Steffi Stallmeister, the World Bank’s Country Manager in PNG.

Born in Warstein in north-west Germany (pop: 26,000), Stallmeister credits her upbringing for her deep interest in education.

‘I grew up on a farm. My father was a shepherd and that shaped my values and also my passion for education, because it is education that opens up opportunities. Education opens doors to new opportunities to change lives, especially for girls.

‘Education is a personal passion for me. It is pretty important for every country, because it’s critical that a country has education as a basic priority. That of course, equals human capital.’


Stallmeister joined the World Bank to make a difference.

‘The World Bank’s strong support to education and its overall goal to reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity attracted me to the institution,’ she says.

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She’s been with the bank since 2002. Prior to joining it, Stallmeister worked for the German development agency, GIZ, in Indonesia for two years, focusing on vocational training and economic development issues, and also as a World Bank consultant. She’s fluent in English, German, and French, has a basic knowledge of Spanish and Indonesian and two Masters degrees.

‘My favourite part of PNG so far has been meeting the people in the communities. There are so many wonderful, warm people, who welcomed me and never lost patience in answering my many questions.’

Stallmeister’s work with the World Bank has so far taken her to Africa, the Middle East and Timor-Leste.


During her tenure in PNG, the World Bank’s priorities have been infrastructure and agriculture.

The World Bank’s cumulative lending to PNG totals US$298.67 million (K868.3 million) for 16 active projects focusing on infrastructure, mining, agriculture and youth.

A key agricultural project is the Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project (PPAP), designed is to improve the livelihoods of some 60,000 smallholder cocoa and coffee producers. PPAP aims to work with smallholder farmers to double yield and improve the quality of their coffee and cocoa, and increase their incomes.

‘It’s a major source of livelihood, so it’s absolutely critical to strengthen the agriculture sector and create opportunities for Papua New Guineans in rural areas,’ she notes.

Her three-year appointment as PNG Country Manager ends in 2017, but could be extended for a further two years.

‘But after four to five years, I have to move on, because the idea is to rotate experts across regions, as the World Bank philosophy is to share global knowledge and to change countries and regions and that’s how we add value.’


  1. Thankyou for your articial on Ms Steffi Stallmeister and her passion for education in PNG . I share here thoughts and Idears and would like to assist, you see our company makes modula classrooms that we can transport to PNG. We are known in the area for many years and ask if you can put us in contact with this lady by email…………. regards David T……………

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