by Olutayo Irantiola
The leadership quality of Dr. Akinwumi Adesina and the ways in which he has stood out in the African Development Bank has brought about a lot of goodwill for Nigeria. Looking at the trajectory of his leadership qualities in the last few years, one cannot but be amazed about his concern about Africa and her teething problems.
In the last five years that he has committed himself to the Hi5 initiatives namely: – Light Up and Power Africa; Feed Africa; Integrate Africa; Industrialize Africa; and Improve the Quality of Life of the People of Africa. Many African countries have come out of the challenges of the past and it is a pointer that what awaits the continent with the sterling leadership quality that Dr Adesina has brought to the continent.
An independent analysis by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has shown that achieving these High 5s will allow Africa to achieve 90% of the Agenda 2063 and the SDGs. This great feat is what will bring the difference to the continent as a whole and the dependence of our continent on the western world will reduce drastically.
The impacts of these various initiatives have been felt across Africa, for instance, 18 million people were provided with access to electricity, through “Light Up and Power Africa”. While another 141 million people gained access to improved agricultural technologies for food security, through “Feed Africa” and not less than 13 million people benefited from access to finance from private sector investment projects, through “Industrialize Africa”.
Also, 101 million people benefitted from access to better transport through “integrate Africa” and 60 million people benefit from improved access to water and sanitation under “Improved quality of life for the people of Africa. In less than five years, the Bank’s investments have benefitted and impacted a total of 333 million Africans – an impact unprecedented since the Bank’s establishment in 1964.
The global ratings of AfDB in the last few years have been unprecedented; the AAA and the S&P Ratings have strengthened the way in which the bank is accountable to the public and also the international recognition that the bank had garnered under the leadership of Dr. Adesina.
Under the leadership of Dr. Adesina, the Bank has successfully achieved a historic 125% increase in its capital in October 2019, increasing by $115 billion, from $93 Billion to $208 Billion. This is the highest ever in the history of the Bank.
With the General Capital Increase, the Bank plans to support African countries to achieve even more remarkable impacts in the next 8 years: 105 million people will get access to electricity; 204 million people will benefit from improved access to agricultural technologies to achieve food security and 23 million people will benefit from investee private sector companies. Others are 252 million people will gain access to improved transport services, and 128 million people will benefit from improved water and sanitation.
Dr Adesina has also attracted investments to Africa, for the first time putting African Development Bank at the forefront of galvanizing investors around the world to invest massively in Africa across sectors. The African Development Bank launched the Africa Investment Forum in 2018, in Johannesburg, South Africa and was able to mobilize investment interests of $38.7 billion while in 2019, the bank mobilized #40.1 billion.
As Africa faced the Coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Adesina led the Bank to respond boldly. The Bank announced a $10 billion in support of African countries. The Bank also successfully launched a $3 billion “Fight COVID19” social bond on the global capital markets, which has been acclaimed as the largest US dollar denominated social bond ever in world history. The bond is now listed on the London Stock Exchange, now oversubscribed at $4.6 billion.
With the just concluded high level panel lednby Mrs Mary Robinson; former Irish President with the support of Justice Hassan Jallow, Gambia’s Chief Justice and Leonard McCathy, World Bank’s Integrity Vice President, has acquitted him of any false allegations. This makes him a noble man that is a worthy representative of the country.
Dr. Adesina has put the Bank on a global pedestal as a globally respected institution. Under his leadership, the African Development Bank has been aggressively accelerating the development of the continent. The Bank, under his leadership, has become much closer to countries on the ground.
The Executive Committee of the Africa Union, consisting of all 55 African countries, unanimously endorsed Dr. Adesina as the sole candidate for re-election for a second term as President.
Also, all 15 Heads of State of the ECOWAS region unanimously endorsed him for re-election. Recently 14 former heads of state and government of Africa applauded his remarkable leadership at the Bank and endorsed him for re-election as President. These high profile African leaders that signed the letter include, Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria; Boni Yayi of Benin Republic; Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethipia; John Kufour of Ghana; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia; Joyce Banda of Malawi and Joaquim CHissano of Mozambique.
Others are Tnadja Mamadou of Niger Republic; Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria; Moghamed Marzouki of Tunisia; Ameenah Gurib-Fakin of Mauritus; Rupaih Banda of Zambia; Kgalema Motlanthe of South Africa; Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania. Africa has risen up to the occasion by speaking with one voice with all these leaders throwing their weight behind Dr Adesina. All of these have shown us that as a country, we have a worthy ambassador in Dr Akinwumi Adesina. In the next few weeks, our nation will have a cause to celebrate the commencement of his second term in office as the President of the African Development Bank Group