Africa can no longer be content with managing Poverty-Dr Adesina

The newly investitured president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, has said that “Africa can no longer be content with managing poverty,” adding that we must “grow together and develop together.”

Speaking at his investiture in Abidjan, on Tuesday, Adesina noted that “while inequality is growing within our continent, women and young people do not feel economic growth in the continent.”
Meanwhile, the vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, has congratulated Dr Akinwumi Adesina for his investiture as the new president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), in Abidjan, on Tuesday. Prof Osinbajo, while addressing the audience at the ceremony, expressed confidence that “Dr Adesina will make a fine president and a successful one.”
He made reference to what he described as the “zeal with which he pursued his assignment as the former minister of agriculture in Nigeria.” He commended Adesina for his victory at the bank’s election “in a race that was keenly contested.”
“For much of its history,” the vice president noted “the coming of age of the AfDB, adding that, in the past, “AfDB stood in the shadows of multilateral institutions.” He commended the tremendous growth of the bank under the immediate past president, Dr Donald Kaberuka, under which, he said, “the bank tripled its capital base” and mobilised enormous resources.
Dr Babacar Ndiaye, who headed the bank from 1995 to 2005, congratulated Dr Adesina for his emergence as the new president of AfDB, saying that “what Adesina has in his programme reflects what the bank can do.” Dr Ndiaye referred to Dr Adesina’s speech, emphasising that “power is important for Africa and will be the blood for our infrastructural development and agricultural development. He also thinks that integration is important and that the bank should be more involved.”
Dr Ndiaye noted that what is going to happen is a blend of positive change and continuity, with changes in areas where changes are desirable and continuity where desirable. He noted with satisfaction that the bank has grown tremendously from the initial capital base of 250 million dollars in 1964, has attracted much more and has expanded its areas of intervention since then. “The leadership is showing some direction for infrastructural development for the private sector. The bank today is a voice for Africa.”
At the event, Mr Sonny Echono, permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, expressed delight at the prospects for Nigeria as a result of the emergence of Dr Adesina as AfDB president. According to the permanent secretary, “this presidency of AfDB offers Nigeria bountiful opportunity to harness our potential.” He noted that the bank’s focus on power, agriculture and rural development, is good for Nigeria, with the diversifying “away from oil that Nigeria’s president is pursuing to attain growth for our country.”
According to Mr Echono, “the critical thing the bank will be bringing on board for us is expertise” and opportunity to “leverage international finances, banks guaranteeing loans and supporting them.” He added that given the fact that Dr Adesina “has headed agriculture ministry in Nigeria, it is going to be of tremendous benefit for us.” Mr Echono advised that “we must begin to see development as something necessary that propels growth. We need to banish poverty so people will be in position to create wealth.”
Mr Albert Toikheusse Mabri, the board chairman expressed optimism in what the new president of the bank can achieve. “We are assured you will steer the bank from the heights it has attained, to delivering prosperity in the continent,” he said. “We have a sacred duty to honour your work,” he added, pointing out that he was convinced that Dr Adesina “will bring to the bank the highest standard of excellence and commitment.”
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