NIGERIA’s Akinwumi Adesina on Tuesday was sworn-in as the president of African Development Bank (AfDB) and he is going in for his second term as the bank’s eight president.
“Today, a rainbow stretches from the 81 member countries of the African Development Bank across the deep blue skies of Africa…The future beckons us for a more developed Africa and a much stronger and resilient African Development Bank,” Akinwumi said after he was sworn-in Bank’s Abidjan headquarters.
The event was presided over by Kenneth Ofori-Atta, the bank’s newly appointed Chair of the Board of Governors and Ghanaian Finance Minister who also administered the Oath Office.
Several presidents attended the virtual ceremony live and sent messages of support. They included Paul Kagame of Rwanda, the president of Liberia, George Weah, Alpha Conde of Guinea, Guinea Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embaló and Denis Sassou Nguesso of Republic of Congo. Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Atiku Abubakar was also present.
Ofori-Atta was assisted by the past Board of Governors Chair, Ivorian Planning Minister Niale Kaba, and the Bank’s Secretary General Vincent Nmehielle who read the resolution of the Board confirming Adesina’s election.
On 27 August 2020, Governors of the 54 African regional member countries and 27 non-regional member countries of the African Development Bank Group unanimously voted in the eighth President for a second five-year term on the final day of the 2020 Annual Meetings.
Ofori-Atta said he had no doubt that Africa’s premier development bank had secured the right leadership.
“We need to continue to steer and direct the Bank’s efforts to setting global standards of excellence, integrity, commitment to service and responsiveness to the challenges of the continent,” he said.
“You earned a new mandate in a most historic fashion,” he told Adesina.
Adesina’s first five-year term in office focused on the bold new agenda for the Bank Group based on five development priorities known as the High 5s: Light up and Power Africa; Feed Africa; Industrialize Africa; Integrate Africa; and Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa.
Today, that ambition was being achieved, Adesina stated, adding that 18 million Africans had gained access to electricity, 15 million had benefited from investor finance, 60 million enjoyed new access to water, 141 million people had improved agricultural technologies for food and 101 million people had access to improved transport from infrastructure.
“We have collectively charted a new path for Africa…We have achieved collectively impressive results,” Adesina said.
Going forward in his new term, he would focus on building on the collective achievements and a stronger and more resilient African Bank Group. “Our focus will be on institutions, people, delivery and sustainability. Together we win for Africa,” Adesina said.
“Yet again, let us move forward, driven by the power of our mission, inspired by the primacy of our vision and emboldened by the strength of our togetherness,” Adesina said.
Representatives of the Nigerian and Côte d’Ivoire governments as well as Bank Executive Directors and senior management also attended the ceremony.