Adesina Lays Out Vision for Second Term as AFDB President

By Prince Kurupati

I am grateful to serve Africa passionately, to the very best of my God-given ability.” – Akinwumi Adesina

I am grateful to serve Africa passionately, to the very best of my God-given ability,says Akinwumi Adesina
I am grateful to serve Africa passionately, to the very best of my God-given ability,says Akinwumi Adesina

September 1, 2020 was a great day for Akinwumi Adesina, the African Development Bank (AFDB) as well as the whole of the African continent as one of the most successful AFDB president officially began his second term in office. Akinwumi Adesina who has recorded many successes as the AFDB boss in his first term chief among them increasing AFDB’s capital from $93 billion to $203 billion said he will be the President “for all” as he was elected “by all.” Adesina said the remarks in his inauguration speech.

Vision for the Future

In his inauguration speech, President Adesina said that he already has a vision for AFDB as well as Africa’s future. Adesina said his vision is encapsulated in five deliverables. These are Institution, People, Quality, Delivery, and Sustainability.

On Institution, Adesina said that the AFDB will look at ways to strengthen institutional capacity. This will entail improving human resources, building a top notch IT capacity to enhance effectiveness and productivity in an increasingly digital age. More will also be done in strengthening accountability, oversight and compliance systems while at the same time promoting a stronger performance culture.

On People, President Adesina said the focus is on hiring and retaining top talent, improving staff experiences and value propositions while at the same time enhancing career development and mobility.

On Quality and delivery, President Adesina stressed the need on improving responsiveness to clients, decentralizing decision making, putting in place more efficient systems and processes while at the same time guaranteeing cost effectiveness and value for money.

On financial sustainability, the AFDB president highlighted the need to stabilize prudential ratios, driving a culture of cost effectiveness, balancing development objectives, optimizing the bank’s balance sheet, leveraging global private capital to complement bank resources and ensuring the Bank attains its own intrinsic stand alone ‘AAA’ rating for long term sustainability.

With the strong support of the African Heads of State and Governments, Governors of the Bank, Ministers of Finance, the Board of Directors and AFDB staff, President Adesina is confident that this vision will be attained. President Adesina is also confident that attaining this finish will help further the impressive results already attained on the High5s front that is, Light Up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, and Improve the Quality of Life of the People of Africa.

President Adesina said that a vision for Africa cannot be outlined without factoring in the future leaders that is, the youth. As such, he said that he and the Bank will look at establishing Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks. The main priority of the Banks will be to mobilize and deploy capital to drive the entrepreneurship of the youth of Africa. Instead of seeing youth migrate out of Africa, the Banks will also help in reducing unemployment and making sure that African youth ‘stay in Africa’.

While laying out his vision, President Adesina did acknowledge that Africa still faces many challenges which include poverty, inequality, fragility, significant infrastructure financing gaps and sustainable debt management. However, working in unison as one, Adesina is confident Africa can tackle these challenges.

Looking Back at the Successes Achieved during the First Term

The AFDB president said the Bank was established for one reason and one reason alone that is, “Winning for Africa’s development is what you set us up to do!” Looking back on his first term as the AFDB President, Adesina said that many successes were recorded more so when it comes to the High5s.

The major successes that were achieved in the past five years as highlighted by President Adesina are as follows:

  • 18 million people with access to electricity
  • 141 million people had access to improved agricultural technologies for food security
  • 15 million people with access to finance from private investments
  • 101 million people with access to improved transport from infrastructure
  • 90 million people with access to water and sanitation
  • Non-sovereign operations for the private sector increased 40% from $1.5 billion in 2015 to $2.1 billion in 2019
  • Climate financing expanded from 9% in 2015 to 36% by 2019
  • Attracted a combined $78.8 billion worth of investment interests in Africa since 2015
  • Expanded AFDB’s presence to 44 new countries
  • Launched a Gender Equality Trust Fund
  • Raised the capital of the bank from $93 billion to $208 billion
  • Opened up a $10 billion COVID-19 response facility to address immediate and project investments for countries, especially to contain fiscal meltdowns
  • Launched a $3 billion social bond on the global market – the largest US dollar denominated social bond ever in world history

Thanking those who made it possible for him to be re-elected

President Adesina took time to thank all those who made it possible for him to be re-elected for a second term. The AFDB president gave his utmost regards to the President of Nigeria H.E. Muhammadu Buhari, the entire Nigerian government, the African Union, African Heads of State and Governments as well as the general African populace.

Akinwumi Adesina was re-elected for a second five-year term as AFDB President on August 27, 2020 by the Board of Governors of the Bank. Adesina received all the votes from the regional and non-regional members of the Bank. The election took place on the final day of the 2020 Annual Meetings of the AFDB Group, which was held virtually for the first time in the Bank’s history.

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