Adesina Becomes First Nigerian To Lead AfDB

Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture Akinwumi Adesina yesterday emerged as the 8th President of the African Development Bank Group. He becomes the first Nigerian to be elected to lead the organisation.

Adesina emerged president after the bank’s Board of Governors whose voting powers are weighted cast votes. He succeeds Donald Kaberuka whose 2nd term in office ends on August 31, 2015.

Speaking after Albert Toikeusse Mabri Ivory Coast’s Minister for Planning and Development and Chairman of the Board of Governors announced him as the next AfDB president, Adesina said, “Today, I have been given a great responsibility”.

He 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.

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 paid tribute to his predecessor, 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, outgoing AfDB President Donald Kaberuka 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.”

Akinwumi A. Adesina, 55, will assume office on 1 September 2015.

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