President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has been reelected to a second 5-year term by the Board of Governors of the international financial institution. The election took place at the bank’s annual general meeting held via video conferencing on Thursday.
Adesina was the first AfDB president to be re-elected with 100% votes of both African and non-African shareholding nations.
As newly re-elected president, the former Nigerian Minister of Agriculture, will begin his new term on 1 September 2020.
Adesina’s reappointment to the helm of the 56-year-old bank is considered a formality as he was the sole candidate and having been endorsed by the African Union member states, who are the majority shareholders in the AfDB .
In his acceptance speech, the globally renowned development economist said,
“I am deeply grateful for the collective trust, strong confidence and support of our shareholders for electing me for a second term as President. It is yet another call for selfless service to Africa and the African Development Bank, to which I will passionately devote myself.
“We also made history by re-electing me by 100 percent votes. I became the first President of the bank in its history to be re-elected by 100 percent votes of all its shareholders and I am most grateful and very appreciative.
“This was very important; it shows the transparency of our bank, it shows your demonstrated weight of support behind my vision.
“It shows a very clear and strong mandate from all shareholders to go and implement the vision, it shows that all voices were heard, it shows that we are true to the constitutive test of our bank.
“The future beckons us for a more developed Africa and a much stronger and resilient African Development Bank Group. We will build on the strong foundations of success in the past five years, while further strengthening the institution, for greater effectiveness and impacts.”
Adesina’s reelection had been in doubt early in the year as the United States, a major shareholder in the bank, called for a fresh probe of accusations of corruption and mismanagement made against him by a group of staff at the bank.
A panel of investigators had cleared the Nigerian economist of the charges but the Americans were not convinced. An Independent Review Panel set up by the Bureau of Governors of the Bank, as demanded by the US, again completely exonerated the Adesina of any ethical wrongdoings in a report issued in July.
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.