Race to succeed Kaberuka as AfDB president gathers momentum

Business News of Saturday, 17 January 2015

Source: ghanabusinessnews.com

Donald Kaberuka

The president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Donald Kaberuka will end his two-year term this 2015 and the Bank would elect his successor at its Annual General Meeting May 28, 2015.

As the deadline for filing nominations approaches in February, the race is heating up – interested candidates are feverishly lobbying institutions and countries to support their nominations.

Dr. Kaberuka served a two five-year term since his election in 2005.

He is viewed as a very successful president and it is therefore instructive that whoever is elected to succeed him would have to live up to very high expectations.

The Bank almost shut down after losing its AAA credit rating in 1995. Omar Kabbaj became Bank President that same year and tightened controls to regain the AAA status.

Kaberuka took over in 2005, and the Bank made a dramatic turn-around by refocusing on the core needs of its member countries, and re-strategising.

Under his tenure the AfDB has collaborated and often competed with other multilaterals like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, working hard to make itself relevant to and ahead in Africa’s economic, social and political development.

The Bank operates under the leadership of the President, who serves as the legal representative of the Bank, the Chairperson of the Board of Directors, and the Chief of Staff of the Bank.

Elected by the Board of Governors, the President serves a five-year term, renewable once.

The Bank invests about $8 billion annually into Africa’s economy.

So far some individuals have shown interest in contesting the position but no Ghanaian’s name has popped up yet, even though a Ghanaian has once headed the Bank.

The following individuals have shown interest and are lobbying governments and institutions to support them, but a full and complete list of nominees won’t be known until the first week of February 2015 after nominations have closed.

One of the current Vic-Presidents of the Bank, Dr. Mthuli Ncube has shown interest in the position, but he can’t contest because South Africa has indicated it won’t nominate a candidate this year – and that shattered the hopes of the naturalized citizen who originally hailed from Zimbabwe.

The contenders so far are; Sufian Ahmed, Ethiopia, Dr. Cristina Duarte, Cape Verde, Dr Samura Kamara, Sierra Leone, Dr Akinwunmi Adeshina, Nigeria, Mr Jalloul Ayed, Tunisia, Dr Kordjé Bédoumra, Chad, and Mr Birama Boubacar Sidibe, Mali.

The Bank has had six presidents and one interim president.

• 1964-1970 Mamoun Beheiry (Sudan)

• 1970-1976 Abdelwahab Labidi (Tunisia)

• 1976-1979 Kwame Donkor Fordwor (Ghana)

• 1979-1980 Godwin Gondwe (Malawi) Caretaker capacity

• 1980-1985 Willa Mung’Omba (Zambia)

• 1985-1995 Babacar N’diaye (Senegal)

• 1995-2005 Omar Kabbaj (Morocco)

• 2005-2015 Danold Kaberuka (Rwanda)

At this stage it’s difficult to say who stands a better chance of getting elected, but the race is certainly heating up.