By Adedapo Adesanya
The latest support for the second term candidacy for Mr Akinwumi Adesina as President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has come from the Executive Council of the African Union (AU).
The decision was taken at the 36th Ordinary Session of the AU Executive Council held during the AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from February 6 to 7, 2020.
The endorsement will see Mr Adesina, who was elected for the first term as the 8th President by the bank’s Board of Governors in its headquarters in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire on May 28, 2015, run for another term at the helm of affairs.
During his first term, the bank’s shareholders approved a landmark $115 billion capital increase in October 2019. The increase in the capital base, from $93 billion to $208 billion, signalled strong support from the Board of Governors in the continent’s foremost financial institution.
Mr Adesina is a renowned development economist who has held a number of high-profile international positions, including with the Rockefeller Foundation, and as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development from 2011 to 2015.
He was the first Nigerian to hold the position since the bank has been in existence in 1964 with the post previously held by nationals from Sudan, Morocco, Rwanda, Ghana, Malawi, Tunisia, and Zambia.
The African Union Executive Council comprises 55 ministers of foreign affairs representing the member states of the AU.
The AU is not the first organisation to endorse Mr Adesina as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), as reported by Business Post in December 2019, nominated him following a decision that was announced at the end of the fifty-sixth ordinary session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS.
In his home country, Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari gave a presidential approval in October 2019.
The election will again take place at the Bank’s Annual Meetings in May in Abidjan.
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