29 May 2015, Sweetcrude, Abidjan, Cote d’ivoire — Akinwumi Adesina was elected as the 8th President of the African Development Bank on Thursday, May 28.
A Nigerian citizen, Adesina is currently serving as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.
He succeeds Donald Kaberuka, whose second term as President of the Bank ends in August.
His name was announced by Albert Toikeusse Mabri, Minister of Planning and Development for Côte d’Ivoire, and current Chairman of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank.
The election was conducted by the Board within the Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group, held in Abidjan.
Adesina, 55, will assume office on 1 September 2015.
Adesina is the outgoing Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development for Nigeria, a position he has been in since 2010. He is a supporter of the Green Revolution in Africa.
As a minister, Adesina transformed the Nigerian agricultural sector. He holds a PhD in agricultural economics. Having had experienced poverty first hand, Adesina’s goal is to bring hope and prosperity to all African people.
He is seen as the man who could boost the rural economy and strengthen regional trade.
During the campaign, Adesina disclosed that the focus under his presidency would be to:
• Build and consolidate on the remarkable gains already made by previous Presidents of the Bank and work closely with the Bank’s shareholders to implement its strategic plan to position the Bank for even greater performance, efficiency and effectiveness in delivering transformational impact for Africa.
• Catalyze and mobilize resources globally for the Bank Group and the continent through strategic partnerships.
• Leverage the Bank Group’s market and concessional windows to ensure that adequate financial resources are available to all regional member countries from the African Development Bank (ADB) and the African Development Fund (ADF).
• Nurture first-rate multi-lingual staff at the Bank with the skills required to usher in a new Africa. The diverse gender-balanced world-class human resource pool will comprise of globally respected professionals, and performance-based incentives will be adopted to attract top-notch talent.
• Foster strong ethics, transparency, good governance and accountability within the Bank to enable it become known as “Africa’s Bank for integrity”.
• Ensure that the Bank adopts a “people-oriented approach”, able to address and meet the needs of millions of Africans – a true development Bank for Africa.
• Transform the Bank into a “go-to-institution” on development in Africa, with renewed and strong partnerships with its member countries, the Africa Union, the Economic Commission for Africa and the Regional Economic Communities.
• Re-ignite the passion of the Bank’s staff to work diligently and selflessly to attain the mission of the Bank, to spur sustainable economic development and social progress in its regional member countries.
Adesina and seven other contestants vied for the position of President of the AfDB. The incumbent Donald Kaberuka’s second term will come to a close at the end of the year.