Nigeria’s Akinwumi Adesina has been re-elected as the president of the African Development Bank President (AfDB) for a second five-year term.
The election took place electronically on Thursday in a virtual version of the bank’s annual general meeting.
Adesina’s reappointment on Thursday to the leadership of the 56-year-old bank is considered a formality, as he was the sole candidate.
Bashir Ahmad, the new media aide to President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, tweeted the news.
Case for re-election
Earlier, Adesina made a case for his re-election as head of the AfDB, saying that he wanted to fulfil “his sense of duty and commitment”.
He recalled that his current five-year term as head of the African Development Bank Group was marked by the implementation of five strategic priorities for the continent’s development, known as the “High 5s”.
“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,” said Adesina during a virtual session at the start of the bank’s 2020 annual meetings.
“Time has passed so quickly,” he said, citing the bank’s achievements in the five years of his presidency: 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.
With these positive results, Adesina asked the board of governors to renew their trust in him for the next five years.
“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. 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,” he said.
In his speech to open the meeting, the president of Côte d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara, highlighted the unusual context of this year’s annual meetings, taking place as they do against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also underlined the bank’s critical support for his country and other African members.
Ouattara, who witnessed Adesina’s election in 2015, welcomed the fact that his country was once again presiding over the electoral process.
President Ouattara called on the bank’s governors, headed by the Ivorian minister of planning and development, Kaba Nialé, to respect the articles governing the institution.
“This is an opportunity for me to acknowledge the African Development Bank, its president and board of directors, for the unwavering support expressed in these difficult times to African states. Indeed, the bank’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Facility has made it possible to finance and support African countries in the fast implementation of plans to fight the pandemic.”
Ouattara praised the “remarkable capacity to adapt that the bank has shown by continuing its operations and functioning in virtual mode since March 2020”, as well as the work accomplished by the AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina, “who has successfully led the transformation of the African Development Bank and has given it great credibility and visibility, of which we are proud.”
Ouattara wished Adesina well.