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Akinwumi Adesina gets second five year term at AfDB

AfDB President survived several accusations including breaches of the bank’s code of ethics

Kampala, Uganda | RONALD MUSOKE | Dr. Akinwumi Adesina will serve as president of the African Development Bank Group for another five-year term following his re-election by the Board of Governors on Aug.27.

Dr Adesina, a former Nigerian Minister of Agriculture got 100% of the vote from all regional and non-regional members of the Bank and will begin his new term on September 1, 2020.

The election took place on the final day of the 2020 Annual General Meeting of the African Development Bank Group, which was held virtually for the first time in the Bank’s history.

While announcing Adesina’s new five-year mandate, Niale Kaba, the Ivorian minister of national planning who also doubles as the chairperson of the Board of Governors of the Bank said,“the Board of Governors were delighted to re-elect Adesina for a second term in office as president of AfDB.”

“As shareholders, we strongly support the Bank and will give him all the necessary support to carry forward and implement his compelling vision for the Bank over the next five years,” she said.

Adesina’s first term focused on the bold new agenda for the Bank Group based on five development priorities known as the ‘High 5s.’ These included; lighting up and powering Africa; feeding Africa; industrializing Africa; integrating Africa; and improving the quality of life for the people of Africa.

According to a statement issued by the AfDB shortly after Adesina’s re-election, the Bank achieved impactful results in Adesina’s first five year term. Among the achievements include; the bank’s impact on the lives of 335 million Africans.  Close to 18 million people were given access to electricity; 141 million people benefitted from improved agricultural technologies for food security; 15 million people benefitted from access to finance from private investments; 101 million people were provided with access to improved transport while 60 million people gained access to water and sanitation.

The Bank also maintained its AAA-ratings by all major global credit rating agencies for five years in a row. The Board of Governors approved a 125% increase in the General Capital of the Bank, raising its capital from US$93bn to US$208 bn— the largest in the history of the Bank.

The African Development Fund also received a US$7.6 bn pledge from donors, a 32% increase, for support to lowincome countries and fragile states. The Bank was ranked the fourth most transparent institution globally by Publish What You Fund, bolstering its strong governance credentials for transparency and accountability.

Under Adesina’s leadership, the African Development Bank’s Board of Directors approved a US$10bn facility to support African countries to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bank also launched a US$3bn COVID-19 social bond on the global capital markets, the highest US dollar denominated social bond ever, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, Luxembourg Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ.

Speaking shortly after his endorsement for a new term, Adesina said he was “deeply grateful for the collective trust, strong confidence and support of our shareholders for electing me for a second term as President.”

“It is yet another call for selfless service to Africa and the African Development Bank, to which I will passionately devote myself,” he said.

“The future beckons us for a more developed Africa and a much stronger and resilient African Development Bank Group. We will build on the strong foundations of success in the past five years, while further strengthening the institution, for greater effectiveness and impacts.”

Interestingly, early this year, Adesina faced several accusations including breaches of the bank’s code of ethics. In a communication addressed to the bank’s governors, whistleblowers accused Adesina of breaching the bank’s code of conduct, private gain, impediment to efficiency and preferential treatment.

The staff also accused Adesina of lacking respect for internal rules and regulations in recruitment and went ahead to highlight numerous cases of nepotism and favouritism. However, Adesina denied the accusations, calling them “spurious and unfounded allegations that will not distract him from discharging his mandate of leading the institution.”

Adesina survived two probes including an independent one sponsored by the US. The independent auditors said they could not find proof Adesina had engaged in corruption or nepotism as alleged by the whistleblowers.

The African Development Bank is Africa’s premier development finance institution, comprising 54 regional and 27 non-regional member countries.



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