AfDB will focus on institutions, people, delivery, sustainability – Adesina

Akinwunmi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) says he is grateful for the opportunity to serve the continent.

Adesina spoke on Tuesday in an address during his second term inauguration.

The former Minister of Agriculture expressed gratitude to God for his re-election.

“I give God all the glory for all He has done and continues to do in my life – a life which I have dedicated to Him for selfless service to humanity”, he said.

Adesina thanked the people of Africa, President Muhammadu Buhari, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, other serving and former leaders, family, colleagues, associates, the AfDB and everyone who supported him.

The president was re-elected during the Board of Governors virtual annual meeting in Abidjan.

An Independent Review Panel had exonerated him of any ethical wrongdoings.

The panel was set up by the AfDB Bureau of Governors following a United States complaint.

In reaction, Obasanjo warned Africa of the consequences of failing to support Adesina.

He said: “If we do not rise up and defend, this might mean the end of the AfDB, as its governance will be hijacked away from Africa.”

In his speech, Adesina assured that special attention will be given to regional industrial value chains and the strengthening of financial markets to expand intra-regional trade and competitiveness, and boost the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA

The president stated that AfDB will focus on institutions, people, delivery and sustainability.

He said these are encapsulated in five areas which combine with the programmatic High 5s to transform the development landscape of Africa.

The areas are: Build a stronger institution; Strengthen human capacity; Enhance effectiveness; Deepen quality and impact; Maintain financial sustainability.”

Adesina noted that over the past five years, the Bank has delivered impressive results on High 5s:

The results he said include 18 million people with access to electricity, 141 million with access to improved agricultural technologies for food security, 15 million with access to finance from private investments, 101 million with access to improved transport from infrastructure, 60 people with access to water and sanitation.

“The Bank’s High5 programmes have impacted 335 million people. That’s what the African Development Bank – your Bank – is all about…‘people impact’. Our non-sovereign operations for the private sector increased by 40% from $1.5billion in 2015 to $ 2.1billion in 2019, with the highest level of $ 2.5billion achieved in 2016.”

He said AfDB has been accountable for the climate since COP 21 in Paris while climate financing expanded from 9% in 2015 to 36 % by 2019 – an increase of 400%.

Adesina disclosed that the target is to reach $25billion in climate finance by 2021.

The president noted that through the Africa Investment Forum in 2018 and 2019, AfDB attracted a combined $78.8billion worth of investment interests into Africa.

“We are delivering more for women with the implementation of the Affirmative Finance Action for Women (AFAWA), to leverage $3 billion for women and women businesses. We have launched a Gender Equality Trust Fund, the first-ever in the Bank, and are advancing on gender markers for all projects of the Bank.”

He recalled how the shareholders supported the historic General Capital Increase of the Bank from $93billion to $208billion.

On COVID-19, Adesina said the Board of Directors approved a $10billion COVID-19 response facility to address immediate and project investments for countries, especially to contain fiscal meltdowns.

Noting that AfDB launched a $3billion social bond on the global market – the largest US dollar-denominated social bond ever, Adesina said the institution must now assist Africa to build back boldly and pay greater attention to quality growth, especially in the areas of health, climate and the environment.

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