Akinwummi Adesina: Sierra Leone President, ex-US AfDB representative strengthens support base

President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina

The support base of embattled President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), DR. Akinwunmi Adesina has been strengthened by two top level individuals, Sierra Leone President, Julius Maada Bio and Harold Doley, the first United States representative to the AfDB. They are the latest joining in with their voice.

In a message posted on twitter last Sunday, President Bio expressed solidarity to the man that is widely referred to, across the continent as Africa’s Chief Developer.

Adesina, the 2013 Forbes Africa Person of the Year awardee did not only appreciate President Bio throwing his weight behind him, he also expressed gratitude to other African leaders who had spoken in his favour over controversies generated by some whistleblowers and fanned by the United States, a non-regional member of Africa’s multi billion dollar development bank.

“Thank you very much Your Excellency President Bio of Sierra Leone for your heartwarming confidence and support and that of the good people of Sierra Leone. I am humbled and grateful. @CyrilRamaphosa (President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa), @MBuhari (President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria) @AUC_MoussaFaki (Chairperson, African Union Commission)”, Adesina wrote.

On his part, Doley did not fail to emphasise Dr. Adesina’s impressive feat as head of the AfDB in an open letter to US President Donald Trump.

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Doley stressed that Adesina, since he assumed office in 2015, has rapidly restructured the bank refining its focus through a High-5 strategy, driven by strategic investment in energy, and electricity, agriculture, technology that significantly improved food security, access to private sector finance, improved transport infrastructure, water and sanitation, which has directly impacted the lives of many Africans.

While he noted that it is profitable for America to support the AfDB, Doley said: “In 2019, with US support, the AfDB stakeholders approved a general capital increase of 115 billion dollars, the largest in the bank’s 56 years history. The increase more than doubled capital from 93 billion dollars to 208 billion dollars.

“Also in 2019, the bank’s concessional window, the African Development Fund, received a 35 percent replenishment with donor contributions.

“US shares of $499,695,200 represents 7.81 percent of total subscriptions are a critically needed resource for low-income countries and transition states.

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“Ultimately, supporting Africa’s private sector is critical for social and economic development. In 2018, Adesina led an unprecedented effort to attract global investment into Africa through the inaugural Africa Investment Forum”, Doley’s letter read in part.

In separate statements written to the Ethics Committee and Board of Governors of the AfDB to register their support for Dr. Adesina, the Nigerian Government through the office of the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, and 14 former African presidents and prime ministers led by Nigeria’s ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo including ex-President Goodluck Jonathan affirmed that an independent probe is stretching the matter too far since the Ethics Committee had cleared the Bank’s president of wrongdoing according to the governing procedures, to which an external independent probe is alien.