Still in Position
Akinwumi Adesina – a 60-year-old former Nigerian agriculture minister, was unanimously re-elected to serve as the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) for a second term of five years.
The winning and only candidate, over an exceptional annual meeting held via a video conference call, thanked his peers, “We also made history by re-electing me by 100% vote, via a vote I became the first president of the bank in its history to be re-elected by a 100% vote of all its shareholders and I am most grateful and appreciative.”
Grateful indeed, as events over recent months saw this same re-elected president of the AfDB facing accusations of corruption and favouritism – of which, he has since been exonerated following an internal inquiry by the bank’s ethics committee
Amadou Hott, the Senegalese finance minister and AfDB board of governors member, shared some words, “In this regard, and in the spirit of unity and collaboration, we authorize the creation of an ad hoc committee of the Board of Governors to oversee the review of the Bank’s governance framework for ethics and complaints handling.”
In spite of the affair, the bank – although its reputation did take a hit, managed to maintain its triple-A evaluation from the rating agencies.
The son of a farming family, in 2015 he became the first Nigerian to head the bank, one of the world’s five biggest multilateral lenders and an important but often unseen player in economic development.
He gained continent-wide recognition last October when the AfDB secured $115 billion (105 billion euros) in funding pledges, a move that doubled its capital and cemented its triple-A credit rating.
Post-Pandemic Anticipated Recession
The 56-year-old institution estimates that Africa could lose at least $173 billion (147 billion euros) in GDP in 2020 and $236 billion in 2021 as a result of the economic fallout from the Covid-19 crisis. The bank set up a coronavirus funding mechanism up to $10 billion in April.
Adesina has five years to revive the continent’s economies, which are feeling the weight of the Covid-19 pandemic.