It was gathered that the Nigeria’s outgoing Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina was yesterday elected as the new President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) at the bank’s Annual General Meeting in Abidjan, Cote D’Ívoire.
This came at the eve of the inauguration of Nigeria’s newly elected President, Muhammadu Buhari.
After six rounds of voting, Adesina defeated seven other contenders for the top job. He secured around 60 percent of the vote.
National Coordinator of RUFIN, Mr Musibau Azzze, confirmed yesterday in Addis Ababa that the Agriculture Minister won the AfDB elections. Adesina will now take over from outgoing bank president, Donald Kaberuka on September 1. The election was part of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the bank in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Adesina defeated contenders like Sufian Ahmed, Jaloul Ayed, Kordjé Bedoumra, Cristina Duarte, Samura M. W. Kamara,Thomas Z. Sakala and Birama Boubacar Sidibé to become the 50-year-old body’s eighth leader.
Earlier, President-elect Muhammadu Buhari had requested the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to support the candidacy of Adesina as the body’s president. Gen. Buhari had communicated his backing of Dr Adesina’s candidacy to Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama, the chairman of ECOWAS, a statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, said.
I’m highly honoured—Adesina
Reacting to his victory, Adesina said in an interview that he was highly honoured and delighted. He promised to revolutionalise agriculture in the continent and give it a new face.
The minister said he will not let anybody down, saying his emergence was a straight fight, which he appreciated.
Also reacting, Dr Abimbola Adubi, Agricultural expert with the World Bank, described the outcome of the election as a victory for the continent.
He said Adesina will bring his experience to bear considering what he had done in the agriculture sector in Nigeria and Africa.
Adesina who holds a Ph.D in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University (USA), will take over from outgoing bank President Donald Kaberuka of Rwanda on September 1 to become the leader of the 50-year-old continental bank.
Adesina will have to guide the bank through the continent’s increasingly complex financial environment, where nations are turning to non-traditional partners like China and international debt markets.