Nigeria’s Akinwunmi Adesina Re-Elected As AfDB President

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File Photo of African Development Bank (AfDB) President, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina.
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Nigeria’s former Minister of Agriculture, Akinwumi Adesina has been re-elected for another 5year term as President of the Africa Development Bank by its Board of Governors.

Adesina’s election was disclosed by a Social Media aide to President Muhammadu Buhari, Lauretta Onochie, who confirmed the news in a congratulatory tweet on Thursday.

The AfDB is currently holding its 55th Annual Meetings in Côte d’Ivoire virtually, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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A clearance by an independent panel, led by Former President of Ireland and ex-United Nations Human Right Commissioner, Ms. Mary Robinson, which absolved Adesina of any breach of ethics paved the way for his re-election.

File photo: African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwunmi Adesina.

Adesina is the first Nigerian to hold the post of the bank’s President.

The AfDB, founded in 1964, is geared towards spurring “sustainable economic development and social progress” among member African countries.

Nigeria is the AfDB’s largest shareholder with 16.8 percent of rights, while Germany and the United States own 7.4 percent and 5.5 percent respectively.

On Wednesday, Adesina had made a case for his re-election to the AfDB’s Board of Governors, noting that he wanted to fulfil “his sense of duty and commitment.”

“Five years ago, right here in Abidjan, you elected me president of the African Development Bank. It was a huge responsibility to shoulder. I promised that I would work tirelessly to accelerate Africa’s development. My vision, focused on the High 5 priorities, was my commitment, my promise, my compass,” Adesina said during a virtual session at the start of the Bank’s 2020 Annual Meetings.

“Time has passed so quickly,” he added, citing the Bank’s achievements in the five years of his presidency.

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Some 18 million additional people now have access to electricity, 141 million people have received more advanced agricultural technology to improve food security, 15 million people have access to financing, 101 million now have access to improved transport, and 60 million people have gained access to water and sanitation, Adesina argued.

“Dear Governors, these Annual Meetings are my opportunity to offer you my services and seek a second term as President of the African Development Bank,” he said. “I do so with humility. I do so with an acute sense of duty and commitment. I do so to serve Africa and our Bank.”