AfDB to Hold 2020 AGMs Virtually from August 25

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has disclosed that this year’s Annual General Meetings (AGMs) initially scheduled for May, will take place virtually from August 25 -27 (Next Tuesday – Thursday) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, where the bank’s headquarters are located.

The event will see the 55th annual meeting of the AfDB Board of Governors and 46th meeting of the African Development Fund (ADF) take place.

This will be the first time in the AfDB’s 56-year history that the event will hold virtually and this due to the adjustments brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking on this development, AfDB Secretary-General, Mr Vincent Nmehielle, said the decision was made to have the meeting held virtually as the existing situation and restrictions made it impossible for the bank’s governors to gather together in person.

“As a result, we are taking all precautions to safeguard the health and safety of our members, governors, executive directors, staff members, alternate governors as they participate in these Annual Meetings,” Mr Nmehielle said.

Mr Nmehielle said that only statutory issues, such as the election of the Bank’s president and a governors’ dialogue, will be attended to during the annual meetings.

“We will not have the usual knowledge events where we have thousands of people participating because, this year, these meetings, as I said, have been strictly streamlined. It is indeed an opportunity to test out this new normal in our virtual Annual Meetings where we intend to conduct the business of the bank.”

This means the bank’s president, Mr Akinwumi Adesina will be seeking a second term as AfDB president after an independent review last month found that the bank had rightly cleared him of abuse of office allegations.

The United States, one of the bank’s biggest shareholders, insisted on a new inquiry in April after an internal review cleared Mr Adesina. Whistleblowers had accused the Nigerian of giving contracts to friends and appointing relatives at the bank.

Now, following his innocence, the 60-year-old banker, who once served as Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria, will be the sole candidate in the election and upon his confirmation will be re-elected for another five-year term.

The governors’ dialogue, meanwhile, will focus on assessing the Bank’s efforts in meeting the commitments made for the 7th General Capital Increase and ADF-15 replenishment.

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