Nigeria’s Akinwumi Adesina Re-Elected AfDB President

Nigeria’s former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwumi Adesina, has been re-elected President of African Development Bank (AfDB).

The election was conducted on Thursday at the Bank’s virtual Annual General Meeting. Akinwumi, who was recently subjected to a probe over allegations of abuse of office, won the mandate to steer the bank for another five years.

Adesina contested unopposed despite concerns raised by the United States over the investigation of allegations of corruption and violation of due process levelled against him by the Board of the Bank. He was allegedly accused of nepotism.

Ireland’s former President, Mary Robinson, Gambian Chief Justice Hassan Jallow and Leonard McCarthy, former World Bank integrity vice-president were members of a panel that investigated him.

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Their findings corroborated the verdict of the bank’s ethics committee, which earlier gave Mr Adesina a clean bill of health.

“The panel concurs with the committee in its findings in respect of all the allegations against the president and finds that they were properly considered and dismissed by the committee,” their report concluded.

Adesina had requested a second term in a speech on Wednesday since, according to him, he “was doing it with a sense of duty and commitment.”

“I do it to serve Africa and our bank, in an unbiased way, to the best of the abilities that God has given me,” he said in a statement released by the bank.

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News Central reports that Adesina, who was Nigeria’s agric minister from 2011 to 2015, is the first Nigerian to lead the AfDB. He was named Forbes Africa Person of the Year in 2013 for his “bold reforms” in the farming sector.

The AfDB plays an important if largely behind-the-scenes role in African economies, financing projects in agriculture, health, energy, education, transport and other development sectors.

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