Akinwumi Adesina. Picture: REUTERS
Akinwumi Adesina. Picture: REUTERS

Abidjan — African Development Bank (AfDB) president Akinwumi Adesina has been re-elected for another five-year term following a tumultuous three months that divided shareholders.

He received 100% support, the Ivory Coast-based lender said in an e-mailed statement on Thursday. “As shareholders, we strongly support the bank and will give him all the necessary support to carry forward and implement his compelling vision for the bank.”

The Nigerian was the sole candidate to head the continent’s biggest multilateral lender, in a virtual vote as a result of the coronavirus, at the end of its two-day annual meetings.

The run-up to the election saw the AfDB survive a corporate governance test when unidentified whistle-blowers accused Adesina of helping friends and relatives get jobs and contracts from the bank.

While he was cleared by an internal investigation, the US wanted an independent probe, a position supported by developed nations including the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden. It was vehemently opposed by Nigeria, while Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone expressed their support for Adesina.

An external review headed by former Irish president Mary Robinson cleared him last month.

US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin urged the AfDB to be more selective and cost-effective in its operations in remarks released on Wednesday to mark the AGM.

“The bank must do more to manage its resources more wisely,” he said in a statement. “The independent oversight functions of the AfDB — including integrity, evaluation, and audit — must be given the resources and necessary freedom to operate effectively. The AfDB’s ethics and governance framework must also be updated to bring it up to the standards of its peers.”

Bloomberg

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