Akinwumi Adesina – a Nigerian has been re-elected President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) for a second five-year term.
The election which took place electronically on Thursday at the virtual annual general meeting of the 56-year-old bank is considered a formality as Adesina is the sole candidate.
Presidential new media aide, Bashir Ahmad, tweeted, “Nigeria’s Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has been re-elected as the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB). With this re-election, he will spend another 5 years supervising the affairs of the Bank. Congratulations!”
It would be recalled that the head of the African bank had appealed on Wednesday for a second term in office after a months-long storm over alleged corruption and poor governance that ended after he was cleared in an independent probe. Also, in a speech at the AfDB’s annual meetings, Adesina formally requested a second term as president, declaring that he was doing it with an acute sense of duty and commitment.
According to a statement issued by the bank, Adesina said “I do it to serve Africa and our bank, in an unbiased way, to the best of the abilities that God has given me.”
In 2015, Adesina 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.
AfDB has estimated that the continent could lose at least $173.1 billion in GDP in 2020 and $236.7 billion in 2021 as a result of the economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis. The bank has therefore moved swiftly in response, setting up a coronavirus funding mechanism in April of up to $10 billion.
With the admission of Ireland, Adesina said the number of shareholders in the AfDB rose to 81. Fifty-four shareholders are African, while the others are from the Americas, Asia and Europe.