Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina has been endorsed by the African Development Bank (AFDB) to remain as president of the bank for a second term. During the 36th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Executive Council (comprising 55 ministers of foreign affairs serving as representatives of member countries) which was held during the African Union Summit at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on February 6 and 7, 2020, the decision to retain the services of the Nigerian was reached. It will be recalled that Adesina, during the annual meeting of the African Development Bank’s Board of Governors, in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, on May 28, 2015, was elected to lead the financial institution. Akinwunmi Adesina who earned applause after becoming the first Nigerian to occupy the position sits as the eighth presidents of Africa’s foremost financial institution, an office not every economist in Africa is opportune or privileged to hold.
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Without a doubt, Adesina’s economic exploits during his first term as president of the bank boosted his chances of returning to the office. For instance, his first term saw the bank’s shareholders approved a remarkable $108 billion capital in late October 2019. The bank’s capital base increase from $93 billion to $208 billion meant the Nigerian gained strong support from the bank’s Board of Governors in his reelection bid.
A renowned development economist, Adesina is notable for holding a number of high profile international positions inclusive of an assignment with the Rockefeller Foundation and was also Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development from 2011 to 2015. Prior to his appointment as a federal minister in 2010, he held the position of Vice President of Policy and Partnerships for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). Adesina’s outstanding achievements in previously held positions undoubtedly played a crucial role in shooting him to spotlight as he is presently making a huge impression as the African Development Bank president with the financial institution’s capital base on a steady rise since he assumed office in 2015.
Founded in the year 1964, the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) or Banque Africaine de Développement (BAD), is a multilateral development financial institution which is comprised of three entities namely: The African Development Bank, the African Development Fund and the Nigeria Trust Fund. With a core mission of fighting poverty in Africa and improving the living condition of Africans through fostering and promoting the investment of huge public and private capital into projects and programs that are very much likely to contribute towards Africa’s economic and social development, the bank’s major objective is seeing to the growth and development of the African economy. Headquartered in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, the African Development Bank is equally notable for its role as financial provider to African governments and private firms investing in its regional member countries (RMC).
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Back in December 2019, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) endorsed Adesina as bank chief. This year’s election is set to hold in May at Abidjan, during the African Development Bank’s annual meeting. Owing to strong support from the Board of Governors, the Nigerian is a clear favourite to retain the seat.
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