Global Food Basket: A Journey Of Abundant Economic Wealth, By David Chigaekpebi

Nigeria is blessed with a huge amount of arable land and currently boasts over 100 million heads of livestock and with the emphasis that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo have placed on agriculture, it is not surprising that it is receiving huge investments in this sector.

Recently some Chinese investors were in the country upon invitation by the African Development bank (AFDB) and met with the Vice President looking to invest heavily in Agro related businesses. This in turn would address the food security and eventually transform Nigeria into a global food basket.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo while receiving the Investors said the Federal Government will welcome partnerships and initiatives that will make Nigeria actualize its potential of being a global food basket. “Nigeria is constantly aiming to advance agricultural technologies to boost plant agriculture and livestock sectors so as to contribute to food security globally.”

Despite Nigeria’s huge investments in its oil & gas and mineral resources, agriculture still forms a big contributor of the country’s economy. With Nigeria no longer over depending on oil for its economic development, the vice president has taken a great step to focus on agriculture and agro-businesses, thereby extensively creating more employment opportunities and ebbing away poverty in the country.

It therefore means that this wave of new business suggests a profoundly encouraging investment climate for investors. Strategically positioned to trade with surrounding nations, Nigeria henceforth will be increasingly noted as an investment destination and ‘’Global Food Basket’’ as stated by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.

Amidst such developments, it seems that agribusiness investment opportunities in Nigeria will now be as rich and diverse as the land itself.

Blessed with plentiful sunshine and rainfall, access to the fertile plains surrounding the life-giving River Niger and its tributaries, Nigeria’s rich soils yield a vast array of crops, such as yam, beans, rice, maize, millet, other cereal grains, vegetables and fruits, including lemons, mangoes, grapefruits and oranges. Rivers within the country are also abundant sources of fish.

In the drier northern region livestock farming is the most prominent activity. An estimated 100 million heads of different animal species – namely cows, goats and camels.

Undoubtedly, if these and further investments both exterior and from within can be obtained, the country is on track to be a major contributor to the global food basket and the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo has surely embarked on a journey of abundant economic wealth for the people of Nigeria.

David Chigaekpebi, an agro-enthusiast writes from Nnewi

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Africa’s Population Explosion Is A Ticking Time Bomb, Says AFDB

The African Development Bank and its East and North African Governors have stressed the need for urgent measures to match the continent’s growing population and youth unemployment, which they likened to a “ticking time bomb.”

The meeting described the continent’s growing young population as a potential growth engine for the world.

“The good news is that the solution is within our reach and will require investments,” said Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank.

At the end of a two-day consultation at the headquarters of the Bank in Abidjan, CÕte d’Ivoire, the Bank and the Governors discussed strategizes for closing Africa’s $170 billion infrastructure investment gap.

To bridge the investment gap, ensure inclusive growth, and create employment for the continent’s population, the meeting endorsed the African Development Bank-led African Investment Forum and described it as a timely opportunity to catalyze investments into projects and attract social impact financing to Africa.

Tanzania’s Minister for Finance and Planning, Isdor Mpango, called for closer involvement of the private sector in financing development on the continent.

“The African Development Bank is well positioned to advise and assist Governments and the private sector to come up with bankable projects,” Mpango said, calling for direct resources to provide budget support and investment opportunities.”

Through the African Investment Forum, scheduled for November 7-9, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa, the Bank and its partners intend to showcase bankable projects, attract financing, and provide platforms for investing across Africa. The forum will bring together the African Development Bank and other global multilateral financial institutions to de-risk investments at scale.

“A uniqueness of the African Investment Forum is that there will be no speeches. The only speeches will be transactions,” said President Adesina.

Rwanda’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete said: “The African Development Bank has already discussed the concept of the African Investment Forum with us. The Rwandan Government takes this Forum very seriously.”

“Jobs will come from industrialization. The new approach using the African Investment Forum to de-risk the sector and attract investors is the way to go,” said Kiplagat Rotich, Kenyan Finance Minister.

13 per cent of the world’s population is estimated to live in sub-Saharan Africa today. That number is projected to more than double by 2050. Four billion (or 36 per cent of the world’s population) could live in the region by 2100, according to the UN Population Division. Africa is projected to have over 840 million youth by 2050 with the continent having the youngest population on earth.

According to Adesina, “We have 12 years left to the SDGs. It is an alarm bell because if Africa does not achieve the SDGs, the world won’t achieve them. The African Development Bank is accelerating development across Africa through the High 5s. We are deepening our reforms. We deepened our disbursements to the highest levels ever last year and we are leveraging more resources for Africa.”

Tunisia’s Finance Minister Zied Ladhari recalled how the Bank’s 11-year temporary relocation to his country helped strengthen the bonds between them. “We share the Bank’s vision. Africa is the continent of the future. This is a great Africa moment with the Bank at the centre. Unleashing the potential of African economies is a task which the Bank must accomplish.”

As part of the Bank’s High 5 agenda, 13 million African women have benefitted from new electricity connections and 23 million from improvements in agriculture. Also, 10 million African women have benefited from investee projects

An analysis of the African Development Bank’s impact from 2010-2017 indicates that 27 million Africans gained access to new electricity connections. 899,000 small businesses were provided with financial services. 35 million have benefitted from improved access to water and sanitation.

“With the Bank’s support, Somalia has evolved from a failed to a fragile state,” asserted Somalia’s Finance Minister, Abdirahman Beileh. “The African Development Bank has been with us throughout. Together we can reach the bright light at the end of the tunnel.”

Algeria’s Finance Minister, Abderahmane Raouia, said “The biggest challenge for Africa today is job creation. It is a stake of stability and a lever to pull economic growth upwards. We must offer job opportunities for young people to convince them to stay here on the continent.”

According to Simon Mizrahi, Director, Delivery, Performance Management and Results, the Bank needs to move from billions to trillions in its funding and leveraging effect.

Egypt’s Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire, Mohamed El-Hamzawi, who represented the Finance Minister, said the country has seen two revolutions in 2011 and 2014. He thanked the Bank for supporting the country’s macroeconomic stabilization, financial reforms, infrastructure, and energy projects, among others.

Morocco’s Economy and Finance Minister, Mohammed Boussaid, praised the Bank’s ambition for Africa, and underscored its support for energy, agriculture and infrastructure projects. He said “a capital increase today is not a choice, it is a necessity. Today, the leading export sector in Morocco no longer belongs to traditional sectors, such as phosphates, but to the automotive industry. This generates jobs and adds value for sustainable and robust growth.”

With a substantive capital increase, the African Development will be able to execute its robust pipeline of operations (15bn in 2018 alone), including infrastructure and regional integration projects. The prospects for 2018-2020 are bright, with 50.3 million people benefitting from improved access to transport compared to 14 million in 2017. Also, more than 35 million people are expected to benefit from new or improved electricity connections, in contrast to 4.4 million delivered in 2017.

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Adesina Calls For Immediate Action Over Deepening Crisis Of Global Malnutrition

President of the African Development Bank (AFDB), Akinwumi Adesina has called for urgent action from stakeholders over the deepening crisis of global malnutrition.

Adesina made the call as he joined key nutrition actors, private-sector representatives, policy-makers and thought leaders at the 2017 World Food Prize-Borlaug Dialogue Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday.

According to him, “Poor nutrition has become the number one killer in the world. It’s therefore high time to address this seriously and decisively.”

He explained how many low- and middle-income countries now experience a ‘triple burden’ of malnutrition, where under-nutrition and micronutrient deficiencies co-exist with obesity and other diseases related to diets.

“We must face the reality that unhealthy foods now pose the greatest danger to the health of urban dwellers,” he stressed. “In short: Urban foods are energy rich, but nutrient poor. The changing face of urban areas aggravates malnutrition. We must address the problems of rapidly expanding slums, globally and especially, in Africa.”

The Global Panel report highlights critical areas that deserve attention in dealing with the link between urbanization and malnutrition.

“First, we need to have stricter food market regulations in urban areas, especially for informal food markets,” Adesina said. “Second, to reduce pressure on urban food systems, policies should be used to promote more sustainable peri-urban agriculture, especially for vegetables, legumes and other nutrient-rich crops. Third, better policies are needed to link rural and urban food systems, with greater investments in infrastructure, transport logistics, storage and markets, to assure steady supply of foods to cities and secondary towns.”

To cut back on rising obesity, urban areas need to invest in better education on health and nutrition, support physical activities and tax sugar drinks, he added.

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Africa Holds The key For Feeding 9 Billion People By 2050 – Adesina

The President of the African Development Bank (AFDB), and 2017 World Food Prize Laureate, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has said that Africa  holds the key for feeding the nine billion people that will inhabit this planet by 2050.

Adesina said this in a lecture titled “Betting on Africa to Feed the World,” delivered on Monday at Iowa State University in Des Moines, Iowa, United States of America.

He stressed that the world must help Africa to rapidly modernize its agriculture and unlock its full potential.

“Africa sits on 65% of the uncultivated arable land left in the world, so what Africa does with agriculture will determine the future of food in the world,” he emphasized. “African farmers need more than a helping hand. They need a policy lift,” Adesina said.

He also highlighted how the challenge of addressing global food security is greatest in Africa where close to 300 million are malnourished. It is also the only region of the world where the proportion of the population that is food insecure has increased, he said.

The AfDB President paid tribute to Dr. Norman Borlaug, whom the lecture series was named after, and recalled how Africa was the last frontier for the late Borlaug.

Borlaug, the Founder of the World Food Prize, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for a lifetime of work to feed a hungry world.

Adesina stressed that despite the progress globally in food production (including in Africa, Latin America and Asia), the world still has 700 million people languishing in extreme poverty. This, he added, includes 800 million with chronic hunger, 2 billion people with micronutrient deficiency, and 150 million children under 5 years of age who are suffering from stunting.

He described the challenge of feeding the world as immense, with need for rapid increases in global food, feed and biofuel production to feed a global population of 9 billion people by 2050.

“If Dr. Borlaug alone could feed one billion people, we definitely can feed 800 million people globally and we definitely can feed 300 million Africans. Dr. Borlaug would be disappointed if we couldn’t and with all technologies and innovations, from gene revolution to ICT revolution, at our disposal, we won’t be able to face him and say we didn’t.”

Adesina decried the current situation where Africa spends US $35 billion annually on food imports, describing it as unacceptable. By his estimates, if the current trend continues, Africa is estimated to spend US $110 billion by 2030 on food imports.

“There is therefore absolutely no reason for Africa to be a food-importing region. Africa has huge potential in agriculture, but, as Dr. Borlaug used to say, nobody eats potential!”

Unlocking that potential must start with the savannas of Africa which covers “a mind-boggling 600 million hectares of which 400 million hectares are cultivable,” Adesina said.

Africa’s savannas, he said, are better than the savannas of Brazil, because their soils are not acidic and therefore do not need liming, which had to be done at massive scales in Brazil.

“Yet, while the savannas of Brazil feed the world, those of Africa cannot even feed the farmers there,” he lamented. He further highlighted how technologies, innovations, research and development, mechanization, modernization of agriculture, policy support and massive investments in infrastructure made the difference to turn the savannas of Brazil and those of Northern Thailand into a food powerhouse.

To transform its agriculture, Africa needs to make a decision to develop new agrarian systems ? one that combines smallholder farmers with a new dynamic generation of medium and large commercial farmers.

He also canvassed land tenure systems that make it easier to get access to land, and for smallholder farmers and their communities to have secured land rights.

A top priority must be to mechanize agriculture in Africa, he added.

Over 1,200 people from more than 65 countries will address cutting-edge issues related to global food security and nutrition at the 2017 Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium, October 18-20, 2017.

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AfDB, Fortis MfB Sign N1b Loan For SMEs

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and Fortis Microfinance Bank  (Fortis) yesterday signed an agreement for a N1 billion facility to be used for lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.

A statement from the AfDB explained that the partnership with Fortis is expected to boost Nigeria’s private sector development through financing of projects that are strategically aligned to the country’s development agenda.

AfDB Country Director in Nigeria, Dr. Ousmane Dore underscored the importance of strengthening micro finance initiatives, adding: “Unless those at the bottom of the pyramid have access to finance, poverty will remain a major development issue.’’

He re-affirmed the bank’s commitment to promote inclusive, private sector-led growth and employment creation in Nigeria and across the continent.

Speaking during the signing, Fortis Managing Director and CEO, Tiko Okoye said the deal was significant as it underscored the firm’s desire to empower SMEs in the country.

“The collaboration with the AfDB has added a significant boost to the realisation of our dreams of empowering more Nigerian households through the SMEs.

“SMEs across all climes are the engine of most economies, Nigeria and Africa inclusive. A more formidable SMEs sector will lead to a stronger Nigerian economy,” he added.

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Africans Should Be Bold To Rethink Economic Ideas, Says VP Osinbajo At AfDB President’s Inauguration

Time has come for Africans to re-think some of the time-worn economic ideas and myths that have held its people and policy makers bound to only a few options, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Speaking earlier today in Abidjan at the investiture of the new African Development Bank President, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, Prof Osinbajo called on Africans to develop “uncommon creativity, innovation and change” in charting the pathway for future growth and development of countries in the continent.

Justifying the call for this paradigm shift, the Vice President stated that western economies particularly the United States of America toed this path to emerge from its recent economic meltdown in 2008.

According to him “in 2008 western economies faced with what Ben Bernanke (then Chairman of the US Reserve Bank) described as the “deepest financial crisis since the Great Depression” abandoned conventional free-market thinking and embraced State bankrolled stimulus plans to forestall the imminent collapse of their economies.”

He noted to the hearing of several African and non African economists, policy makers, and development partners that the action the US took then  “proved once and for all that the monster called the economy cannot be allowed to prowl the streets with its free-wheeling, free market struts without the leash of a trainer.”

Prof. Osinbajo, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the event said African countries need a new strategy in the face of daunting challenges asking “do African economies not require a different paradigm?.”

He quarried: “How can trickle down paradigms work when half our populations are extremely poor? Do we not need some attention to social investment?

Then he declared that “Conditional Cash Transfers to the poorest segments, universal primary healthcare schemes, school feeding programs, can energise local economies and create important multipliers in the economy.”

The Vice President however expressed optimism that the African Development Bank given its recent achievements under the immediate past President, Donald Kaberuka, can greatly assist Africa  address some of its socio-economic problems.

He stated further that under the new leadership of Dr. Adesina, “the AfDB needs to redouble its efforts in addressing the needs of these fragile areas, through institutional support, emergency assistance, and bold pro-poor interventions in health, education and agriculture.

Prof. Osinbajo therefore urged the new AfDB President  “ to focus on how economic policy can produce economic empowerment for women, and all categories of our people who have become disempowered and whose voices are seldom reflected in the rhetoric of policy.”

At the eventthe, new AfDB President, unfolded a 5-point agenda which he said would be given utmost priority in the next five years of his tenure. In his inaugural statement delivered after he had taken the oath of office, Dr. Adesina listed the priority areas as i) Light Up and Power Africa; ii) Feed Africa; iii) Integrate Africa; iv) Indusrialize Africa; and v) Improve quality of life for the people of Africa.

Dr. Adesina who spoke passionately about his commitment towards confronting the numerous challenges facing the continent said “unlocking the potentials of Africa for Africans will be our goal at AfDB.”

Present at the impressive ceremony were the President of Cote D’Ivoire, Allasane Quattara and his Prime Minister, Daniel Kaplan Duncan.

Other dignataries from Nigeria also attended the investiture such as the Governor of Kano State, Dr. Umar Ganduje; the Governor of Taraba State, Darius Ishaku; the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal; former Governor of Ekiti State, Dr  Kayode  Fayemi; Governor of Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele; former Minister of Finance, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and Nigeria’s Ambassador to Cote D’Ivoire, Mrs Ifeoma J. Akabogu Chinwuba. Many captains of industry in Nigeria and around the continent also graced the event alongside some members of the National Assembly.

Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, Nigeria’s immediate past Minister of Agriculture, becomes the 8th President of the AfDB and the first Nigerian to occupy the office since the creation of the Bank in 1963. He took over from Donald Kaberuka who served for 10 years from 2005 to 2015.

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How Akinwunmi Adesina Won AfDB Presidency

One question on the lips of many followers of the African Development Bank (AfDB) before its just concluded 50th Annual Meetings in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire last week was who will come top in the development bank’s Presidential elections. The question became imperative because of the gripping nature of the race and the lobbying that followed the high level power play against the credentials of the eight candidates that vied for the position.

Adesina Akinwumi shaking hand with Albert Toikeusse Mabri, Minister of Planning and Development for Côte d’Ivoire while AfDB’s outgoing President, Donald Kaberuka, watches
Apart from Nigeria’s candidate, Dr. Adesina Akinwumi, other candidates in the election were: Sufian Ahmed (Ethiopia); Jaloul Ayed (Tunisia); Kordjé Bedoumra (Chad);Cristina Duarte (Cabe Verde); Samura M W Kamara (Sierra Leone);Thomas Z Sakala (Zimbabwe) and Birama Boubacar Sidibé (Mali).

They all paraded credentials that can make them take over the leadership of the development bank from the outgoing President Donald Kaberuka, who led the AfDB for ten years.
A well placed source disclosed that there were behind the scene moves by the various governments of the candidates for their nationals to win the elections. So, it was not surprising that there were alleged gang up by some regional blocks against the candidacy of Nigeria, just as they said there was an unwritten agreement that Nigeria and South Africa should not lead the bank as the continent’s economic power.

So, it was not surprising that the Southern African Development Community ( SADC) had a sort of Primaries before the AfDB election to choose a candidate the regional bloc will support and they ended up backing the candidacy of the Zimbabwean, Thomas Sakala, a former AfDB Vice President of country and regional programmes.

SADC said they believed Sakala was the best candidate for the position, but that was not to be, as the result of the election showed as only three candidates were left to fight it out till the end in the nerve-wracking race to head the 50-year-old bank. Nigeria’s Akinwumi Adesina; Cape Verde’s Cristina Duarte and Kordje Bedoumra of Chad were the only contestants still standing by early evening on Thursday, as AfDB governors sought a successor to Donald Kaberuka.

To win the election, a candidate needed at least 50.01% of both the regional and non-regional votes. The statement of the Voting Powers used in the computation of the votes during the election of the President of the Bank was 3,844,574 for the Africa regional members and when shared out gave a total of 59.722 per cent voting power.

The total non-regional votes was 2,592,862 and that amounted to 40.278 per cent voting power. So, in essence the grand total votes were 6,437,435 which gave all members, both African and non-Africans, 100 percent voting power.
Nigeria has the highest voting power of the bank’s members with 9.3%, with the SADC 14 % votes already lost. Nigeria was said to have looked up to the votes of the non-regional members that were brought in in 1982 to help boost the capital base of the bank and have about 40% of the voting power.

Nigeria delegation led by the country”s representative in the board of AfDB, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala worked on the United States of America which has the second -highest number of votes after Nigeria.

An insider revealed that during the election, Sierra Leone’s Foreign Affairs minister Samura Kamara, who as finance minister led his country’s reconstruction effort, was the first to fall in the opening round, though few eyebrows would have been raised at his early exit, given West Africa had propped up three other stronger candidates.

The elimination of Ethiopia’s candidate, Sufian Ahmed, after that of Sierra Leone’s was surprising to many as they thought about what he did as his country’s finance and economic development minister, thinking he would last till the last rounds of the voting. Mali’s Birama Side lasted longer than forecast by analysts, becoming the third candidate to be knocked out.

Tunisia’s Jaloul Ayed was next, as North Africa lost a chance to head the bank for a third time. The bank’s sixth president, Omar Kabbaj, is credited with instituting reforms that set the bank on its current path, while Kaberuka cemented its place as the continent’s premier development financier.

The Zimbabwe’s candidate, Thomas Sakala, a former AfDB insider, who was the candidate of SADC was the next to fall by the way side as it was revealed that he had been a beneficiary of “primaries” which is perceived to be against the AfDB rules.

With the elimination of some strong contenders from the race, Nigeria’s governor in the bank, Finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala immediately tweeted’ “Great news! Nigeria’s Akin Adesina has won the AfDB presidency after our strong campaign! Great campaign! Great candidate!”

Immediately, Adesina’s name was announced by Albert Toikeusse Mabri, Minister of Planning and Development for Côte d’Ivoire, and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank as the winner of the election and the next President of African Development Bank Group.

Mabri noted that the result “was an expression of the willingness of all the member countries,” and he applauded the “good spirit that prevailed during the election process that was not marked by any tension.” Just like Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala tweeted, it was indeed a great campaign and a great candidate as Adesina Akinwumi would demonstrate when he paid glowing tributes to Nigeria’s immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan for nominating him for the job.

“I will want to appreciate Nigeria’s immediate past President Jonathan for nominating me and my President Muhammdu Buhari for the support and my sister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for their supports.” Adesina said without his nomination by Goodluck Jonathan that he would not have been the President of the AfDB today.

In his acceptance speech, Adesina, who almost betrayed his emotion, said “Today, I have been given a great responsibility. I am humbled by this remarkable vote of confidence in me” on the part of the Bank’s Board of Governors, who met during the Bank Group’s 50th Annual Meetings in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

With the election over, attention will be on Adesina Akinwumi to deliver on his vision for the Africa Development Bank Group, which he calls ‘Building on the Successes of the African Development Bank and Positioning to Effectively Address Emerging Challenges” when he finally assumes power on September 1, 2015 at the bank’s head office in Abidjan.

Adesina said in his vision statement that Africa’s growth has been uneven as incidence of poverty remains a challenge across Africa with about 40% of the population living in extreme poverty.
“With such a large share of the population disconnected from the growth process, African economies face the challenge of growing discontent from disenfranchised youths, which could lead to economic, social and political fragilities.

Adesina who said he will focus on women issues as he is a big proponent of women’s empowerment added that the private sector growth faces challenges to fully unlock its potential. “Industrialization of the continent remains low, limiting the space to generate quality jobs. Africa’s challenge is to generate high – quality economic growth that is inclusive, sustainable and more effective in reducing poverty and addressing social inequities.”
Adesina disclosed that his vision is to help build a new Africa with prosperous, sustainable and inclusive growth; one that is peaceful, secure and united, regionally integrated and globally competitive. “A continent filled with hope, opportunities, liberties and freedom, with shared prosperity for all. An Africa that is open to the world, one that Africans are proud to call home.”

Adesina said the African Development Bank under his presidency would focus on the remarkable gains already made by previous Presidents of the Bank and work closely with the Bank’s shareholders to implement its strategic plan to position the Bank for even greater performance, efficiency and effectiveness in delivering transformational impact for Africa.
“My focus will be on growing the African private sector to help drive industrialization and wealth creation for Africa. I will prioritize the growth of small and medium sized companies, grow middle-sized capitalized companies and support the emergence of African global multinational companies.”

Adesina noted that the Bank will design advisory support services dedicated towards supporting the industrialization of Africa. “The infrastructure operations of the Bank will be closely aligned with the industrialization agenda to address the critical infrastructure gaps limiting industrial growth, especially power, water, gas, logistics and transport.

“The advisory service for industrialization will also target reforms in the fiscal, regulatory and business environment to further reduce the cost of doing business in Africa.” While commending the outgoing President Donald Kaberuka, Adesina Akinwumi described him as one of Africa’s outstanding leaders, promising to sustain his legacy by leveraging on his vision to achieve an economically integrated and prosperous continent.

For his part, President Kaberuka said he was “fully confident that under Adesina’s leadership, the Bank would move to the next level. And I know that you will extend the same support you gave me to the new President and his team.”

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Agric Minister Akinwumi Adesina Emerges AfDB President

Nigeria’s outgoing Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwumi Adesina, on Thursday emerged the 8th President of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Mr. Adesina defeated seven other candidates, including Sufian Ahmed, Jaloul Ayed, Kordjé Bedoumra, Cristina Duarte, Samura M. W. Kamara, Thomas Sakala, and Birama Sidibé.

The election was held in line with the amended rules of procedure governing the election of the President of the African Development Bank (Article 1).

He was elected with 58.10 percent after six rounds of voting, beating the finance ministers of Chad and Cape Verde to the role.

Chad’s Finance Minister Bedoumra Kordje came second in the election with 31.62 percent of votes, and third was Cape Verde’s Finance Minister Cristina Duarte with 10.27 percent.

A total of 80 AfDB shareholders — 54 African states and 26 non-African countries — took part in the election in Abidjan, in which eight candidates were vying for the presidency.

He will assume office on September 1, 2015.

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AfDB Presidency: African Banker Magazine Profiles The Eight Contenders

The Q2 issue of African Banker magazine profiles the eight candidates vying for the African Development Bank Presidency. In these one-to-one sessions, prospective candidates of the continent’s premier multilateral financial institution share their strategic visions, priorities and agendas for the Bank. In this extensive dossier, the eight candidates indicate their suitability for this momentous job and the credentials required to lead Africa’s most prominent development institution.

In this must read issue, we hear from the eight candidates, speaking candidly and openly about their ambitions for the bank. There are 8 contenders vying for the Presidency, 5 of them currently serving as Ministers, one former Minister and a Development Banking specialist.

Akinwumi A. Adesina, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, feels that his experience in transforming the agricultural sector in Nigeria, as well as his first experience working and operating in various African countries will keep him in good stead. His vision is based on continuing decentralisation and increasing support for private initiatives.

Having overseen Ethiopia’s strong growth into one of Africa’s leading economies, Sufian Ahmed, the country’s Finance Minister believes the AfDB will be safe in his experienced hands.

The Former Minister Finance of Tunisia, Jaloul Ayed, asserts that his banking experience has allowed him to gain a clear understanding of Africa’s full potential. He calls for an AfDB that is closer to its markets.

Chad’s Minister of Finance and Budget, Kordjé Bedoumra, states that following his previous tenure at the AfDB, he has the experience and expertise to improve operational efficiency of the Bank as well as shape its short and long term policies.
The only female candidate in the running is Cristina Duarte, Minister of Finance and Planning, Cabo Verde. She says that whatever improvements need to be made, the AfDB can never forget its mission – that is to serve Africa and its people.

With his broad experience in a number of financial institutions Samura M. W. Kamara, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation believes that he is the right person to ensure the AfDB works for Africa.

The former AfDB vice president, Zimbabwe’s Thomas Z. Sakala, has plenty of experience working at the AfDB, and believes he is well suited to keep the Bank’s programmes and strategies on the right track.

And last but not least, Birama Boubacar Sidibé, the Malian Vice President of the Islamic Bank of Development says that with his wealth of experience in African development institutions, he intends to make the AfDB more efficient in its decentralised organisation and expand its business operations.

You can read the full interviews with this dynamic list of Presidential candidates only in the May issue of African Banker, available on newsstands from 19th May.

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