Nigeria’s outgoing Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwunmi Adesina has been voted in as the new President of the African Development Bank (AfDB). “Today, I have been given a great responsibility,” Akinwumi A. Adesina said Thursday upon his election as the 8th President of the African Development Bank Group. The President-Elect said he was “humbled by this remarkable vote of confidence in me” on the part of the Bank’s Board of Governors, who met during the Bank Group’s 50th Annual Meetings in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
Adesina’s name was announced by Albert Toikeusse Mabri, Minister of Planning and Development for Côte d’Ivoire, and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank. The election process was concluded by voting among the Bank’s the Bank’s Board of Governors (54 regional member countries, 26 non-regional), whose voting powers are weighted. Mabri emphasized that the result “was an expression of the willingness of all the member countries,” and he applauded the “good spirit that prevailed during the election process that was not marked by any tension.”
Adesina succeeds Donald Kaberuka, whose second term as President of the Bank ends on August 31, 2015, and to whom he paid tribute in a press conference, saying, “I salute the excellent work of President Kaberuka. It will be a big challenge for me to step into his shoes. He leaves a solid Bank behind him.” In his speech at the Annual Meetings opening ceremony on Monday, May 25, outgoing AfDB President Donald Kaberuka had said: “To my incoming successor, my very best wishes. Ten years goes by very quickly. It is a complex and merciless job, but very exciting. It is, in fact, not a job – but a mission.”Adesina, 55, will assume office on 1 September 2015.
A total of eight candidatures received by the closing date of 30 January 2015 were approved by the Steering Committee of the Board of Governors. The list of candidates was officially announced on 20 February 2015.
The other candidates in the election were:
- Sufian Ahmed (Ethiopia)
- Jaloul Ayed (Tunisia)
- Kordjé Bedoumra (Chad)
- Cristina Duarte (Cabo Verde)
- Samura M W Kamara (Sierra Leone)
- Thomas Z Sakala (Zimbabwe)
- Birama Boubacar Sidibé (Mali)
Akinwumi A. Adesina succeeds:
- Mamoun Beheiry (Sudan), President, African Development Bank, 1964-1970
- Abdelwahab Labidi (Tunisia), President, African Development Bank, 1970-1976
- Kwame Donkor Fordwor (Ghana), African Development Bank, 1976-1980
- Willa Mung’Omba (Zambia), President, African Development Bank, 1980-1985
- Babacar N’diaye (Senegal), President, African Development Bank, 1985-1995
- Omar Kabbaj (Morocco), President, African Development Bank, 1995-2005
- Donald Kaberuka (Rwanda), President, African Development Bank, 2005-present