The newly re-elected president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwunmi Adesina, has praised Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari.
Mr Adesina expressed his appreciation to Mr Buhari on Tuesday during his swearing-in ceremony at the AfDB headquarters in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
The former Nigerian minister of agriculture was re-elected into office last Thursday.
He won his re-election during the annual meetings of the AfDB.
At the ceremony on Tuesday, Mr Adesina thanked God and the people who supported him. He specifically eulogized the Nigerian president for the support shown to him.
“I would definitely not be here without the extraordinary support of my country, Nigeria, and my President H.E. Muhammadu Buhari,” Mr Adesina said.
“Mr. President, you nominated me, you stood by me, you supported me. Thank you very much sir.
“I am grateful to the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the entire government and people of Nigeria who supported me.”
Earlier in the year, Mr Adesina was in the eye of the storm over multiple allegations of misconduct.
In a petition by the group of whistleblowers, the AfDB boss was accused of 20 breaches of the bank’s code of conduct but the bank, after a review by an independent panel, found the allegations to be “frivolous”.
He was thereafter cleared of the allegations.
On Tuesday, the AfDB president said that he remains grateful for the opportunity offered to him to serve Africa passionately, noting that he would be president to all stakeholders of the bank.
“You, our, shareholders have showcased the African Development Bank’s exceptionally high standards and its commitment to transparency and good corporate governance. I am deeply grateful for your collective trust, confidence and support. Above all, I am greatly honored — and humbled.
“Your Excellencies, today, a rainbow stretches from the 81 member countries of the African Development Bank across the deep blue skies of Africa, with one message — the rain is gone. Gone are the dark clouds that held us down.
“I stand today, with all humility, as the President elected by all. I will be the President for all.”
Mr Adesina noted that in every country, the bank’s impact is being felt.
“We expanded our presence to 44 countries, including across fragile states. Our staff risk their lives to deliver,” he said.
“And we are delivering more for women with the implementation of the Affirmative Finance Action for Women, 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. We must continue to strongly support women. When women win, Africa wins!”
On his vision in his new term, Mr Adesina said the bank is committed to building a stronger institution, strengthening human capacity, enhancing effectiveness, deepening quality and impact, and maintaining financial sustainability.
He said: “When you first elected me five years ago, I had a vision. Five years later, I have yet a vision to build on our collective achievements over the next five years. A vision to build a much stronger and resilient African Development Bank Group with the leadership and capacity to deliver greater quality impacts for the people of Africa, while remaining financially strong and sustainable.
“So, our focus will be on ‘Institution’, ‘People’, ‘Delivery, and ‘Sustainability.’ Each of these are encapsulated in the following five areas which combine with the programmatic High 5s to transform the development landscape of Africa.”