Nigeria’s Former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has been sworn in as the 8th President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) today.
An advocate for the unlocking of Africa’s wealth to enrich her people, Dr. Adesina, assumes office today after his emergence as the winner of the keenly contested election on the 28th of May, 2015 to succeed former AfDB President, Donald Kaberuka.
“I want to assure you (Africans) that as the President of the Bank, by the grace of God, poverty would not be the comparative advantage for Africa.” Said Adesina who is an advocate for regional integration as a socio-economic means through which shared prosperity would be achieved and Africa become globally competitive.
Representing the Nigerian Presidency of Muhammadu Buhari – who endorsed the candidacy of Adesina, as well as rallied support for his election as the AfDB President, Vice President – Yemi Osinbajo attended the swearing-in ceremony in Abidjan, the Ivorian capital.
Buhari made it clear, that his support for Dr. Adesina’s candidacy was not just on the bias that he is Nigerian, but because “Dr. Adesina has a proven track record in a career that predates his position as Nigeria’s Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development.”
For many, Adesina being the President of the AfDB is a timely opportunity for a new chapter to commence in the affairs of the regional organisation.
The new president of AfDB has however been advised to liberalize the development programmes of the organisation as to attract larger participation of member countries in terms of access to information, policies and plans.
For Africa Development Bank (AfDB) – the 50-year old economic and financial strong room of the African continent, it is a beginning of new economic life after marking the golden jubilee, as Akinwumi Adesina, a Nigerian PhD holder, is expected to draw a new economic blueprint and adopt new strategies against Africa’s number one common enemy: poverty.
According to Dr. Adesina, despite myriad of challenges bedeviling Africa as a continent in terms of energy, infrastructure, unemployment among others, poverty should not be comparative advantage of Africa, just as he disclosed that rural economies’ revival and agricultural development would be greatly considered as major thrust of the African Development Bank (AfDB).