The president-elect of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, has commended Nigeria and other African countries for standing by him in the challenging period before and during the election of president for the continental financial giant.
Adesina expressed a deep sense of humility and gratitude to all for voting him in as the 8th president of the Bank.
Adesina, who is the Minister of Agriculture and a member of the Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council that was dissolved last week by former President Goodluck Jonathan, will succeed President Donald Kaberuka, whose 10-year tenure ends in September.
The Renaissance reports that Nigeria had made three attempts at occupying the post in the 50-year-old bank.
Adesina said in a statement in Abuja that he was humbled and honoured to have been entrusted with the great responsibility of leading the African Development Bank, AfDB “at a time that presents such great opportunities and also profound challenges for our continent.
“I am truly humbled by the support of many presidents across every region of Africa. Africa is my home.
“The AfDB campaign and election has been an incredible experience, and I am grateful to all those who supported me along the way and to each and every person with whom I have met and exchanged ideas and hopes for inclusive economic growth on our continent throughout this process.
“I am thankful to have been given the chance to travel to so many parts of the continent, small states, fragile states, and large states across Africa, to feel the pulse of African leaders and peoples.
“I met with young people and women, Africa’s greatest assets, with small- and medium-sized enterprises, and with Africa’s business leaders.
“From rural areas to burgeoning cities, I saw vast opportunities for a greater and more inclusive Africa.
“I am hopeful and excited about the prospect of building on the great work of President Donald Kaberuka at the AfDB”.
It will be recalled that Adesina broke the jinx when he got elected at the Annual General Meeting of the bank which held in Abidjan, the Cote d’Ivoire’s capital, beating seven other contenders for the top job.
The Renaissance recalls that Adesina polled unprecedented 58.10 per cent of the total votes, out of which regional votes represented 60.50 per cent.
He was followed by Chad’s Minister of Finance and Budget, Kordje Bedoumra, who came a distant second with 31.62 per cent of total votes and 36.63 per cent of regional votes while the only woman in the race, Minister of Finance and Planning of Cape Verde, Cristina Duarte, polled 10.27 per cent of the total votes.
“I will like to thank some people without whom this success would not have been possible: former President Goodluck Jonathan, for nominating me, his confidence, and steadfast, enthusiastic support; President Muhammadu Buhari for his strong endorsement and rallying support for us; and Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for her vital role and tremendous effort in delivering this successful outcome.
“I commend all my colleagues, who contested with me for the position, their countries, and supporters; they conducted great campaigns; they are all great assets to Africa.
“The shareholders of the AfDB from African and non-African countries gave strong support, for which I am deeply grateful. Together, we will build a new Africa with inclusive and green growth,” Adesina stated.