AfDB's Akinwumi Adesina takes oath for second tenure

Wednesday September 02 2020

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


Incumbent President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, who was re-elected for a second five-year term in August 27, has been sworn-in. 

He was unanimously re-elected by the board of governors after successfully fighting allegations that questioned his integrity.

The swearing-in ceremony and which took place on Monday was attended by Heads of States, governors and over 200 external stakeholders who joined both physically and virtually. 

Dr Adesina, Nigeria’s former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, was initially appointed to head AfDB in 2015. 

The AfDB President described his re-election as historic, becoming the first president of the pan-African lender to be re-elected by 100 percent votes of all its shareholders. He is also the first Nigerian to hold the post. 

The 60-year-old was the sole candidate.


US accusations

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

This is after the US government, through Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, demanded an independent probe into his conduct.

The US had rejected findings of an internal investigation that exonerated Dr Adesina against accusations of abuse and breach of the bank's code of ethics.

The accusations included unethical conduct, private gain, an impediment to efficiency, preferential treatment, adversely affecting confidence in the integrity of the bank, and involvement in political activity.

The US is AfDB’s second-largest shareholder after Nigeria with a 6.5 percent stake, giving it significant voting powers. 

Nigeria is the biggest shareholder with 9.2 percent and had been at the forefront of pushing for Dr Adesina’s re-election.

Additional reporting by Njiraini Muchira