AfDB chief Akinwumi Adesina re-elected for second term

Thursday August 27 2020

African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


The incumbent President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, has been re-elected for a second five-year term after successfully fighting back allegations that had called into question his integrity. 

The 60-year-old Nigerian was the sole candidate for the helm of the multilateral lender and was voted by the AfDB’s governors during its 55th annual meetings, which opened virtually on Wednesday, August 26, 2020. 

Dr Adesina had faced a two probes which cleared him of gross misconduct and abuse of office claims.

He told the AfDB’s governors at the opening of the meetings that he sought re-election with a strong sense of duty and commitment to serve.

Dr Adesina appealed for the second term in office after a months-long storm over alleged corruption and poor governance that ended after he was cleared in an independent probe. 

In his speech, Dr Adesina said his re-election bid was sought “with an acute 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. 


Adesina’s reappointment on Thursday at the helm of the 56-year-old bank is considered a formality since he is the sole candidate. 

Earlier this year, whistleblowers accused the former Nigerian agriculture minister of graft, poor management, personal enrichment and favouritism. 

Both the Ethics Committee of AfDB and the Bureau of the Board of governors exonerated him of any wrongdoing but the United States government, one of the shareholders of the bank, insisted on an independent investigation. 

A panel of three of independent auditors, led by former Irish president Mary Robinson carried out its own review. The others on the panel were Gambia’s Chief Justice Hassan Jallow, and the World Bank’s former integrity vice president, Leonard McCarthy.

Its report, issued on July 28, said Dr Adesina had been properly investigated and that the panel “concurs with the (ethics) committee in respect of all the allegations” against him.