Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated Akinwumi Adesina for re-election as the president of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Adesina confirmed this while speaking at an event in Lagos and appreciated Buhari’s nomination and support for a second term as head of the regional bank.
“We have gone some way climbing the steep mountainside of Africa’s development, yet there’s still much way to go until we reach the mountaintop,” Adesina said. “Nigeria, again, is giving me air in my lungs, to keep on climbing.”
The AfDB chief also emphasized how much the past governments in the country supported his cause. “It was a national effort as we received support from former presidents and heads of state.. who ran a spirited campaign for me,” he said.
Some of the notable Nigerian leaders he mentioned include General Abdusalam Abubakar, General Yakubu Gowon, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President, Namadi Sambo, and Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Adesina also shed light on some of the achievements the organization has recorded so far, which includes “providing 70 million people with improved agricultural technologies to achieve food security.”
Adesina said he worked hard during his four years as president of the AfDB and intends to keep up the good work.
Prior to his assumption of office as President of the AfDB, Adesina served as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. Upon his inauguration as the 8th elected leader of the Bank Group, Adesina set down a new five-point agenda (popularly known as the High 5s).
The High 5s include Light Up and Power Africa; Feed Africa; Industrialize Africa; Integrate Africa; and Improve the Quality of Life for the people of Africa.
These focus areas are essential in transforming the lives of the African people and also consistent with the United Nations (UN) agenda on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Since then, notable efforts have been made in promoting food security in Africa through various agricultural innovations.
The bank group has also made progress in providing funds for humanitarian causes like approving a $17.7 million for education in post-conflict South Sudan.
In the same light, Adesina’s goal of integrating Africa is expressed in the bank’s $98 million grant to help finance phase one of the Ethiopia–Djibouti Road Transport Corridor Project. The project is expected to kick in 2020.
As regards infrastructure, the bank is a key donor in the construction of the Mombasa- Nairobi-Addis Ababa road, which has helped to boost trade across the East and Horn of African region.
Another initiative by the AfDB includes the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA).
SEFA aims at supporting small and medium-scale Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE) projects in Africa. SEFA has begun a framework for Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in Ethiopia.