Africa deserves a second-term with Dr. Akimwumi Adesina as President of the African Development Bank (AfDB). That’s the message from the world’s biggest economy as espoused by Dr. Mima Nedelcovych, a former US representative to the Bank.
“I see absolutely no reason why [the US Government] should not wholeheartedly support the re-election of President Akinwumi Adesina for a second term,” Dr. Nedelcovych is on record as saying last week. And he should know: Dr. Nedelcovych served as the Bank’s US Executive Director from 1989 to 1993.
When the globe’s most knowledgeable and powerful people endorse our fellow Africans we should sit up and take notice. Dr. Adesina’s record during his first term as AfDB President does, of course, speaks for itself. For ready reference, there are four primary reasons why the current President is eminently suited to another productive term at the helm of the institution most critical to Africa’s full-scale industrialization.
First and foremost, during Dr. Adesina’s tenure, the Bank retained its AAA rating by the world’s four major ratings agencies for four years in succession. That’s a vote of confidence par excellence. Furthermore, Dr. Adesina increased the Bank’s income by over 46%.
Dr. Adesina has a plan. There are no objectives achieved without a plan. Dr. Adesina’s vision for a new Africa is embodied in his ‘High 5s’, which are aimed at including Africa in the world economic mainstream. The basic tenets of the high 5s are that farming is a business and a growth sector, that without power you can’t industrialize, that without industry you cannot create inclusive growth and wealth, that without integration you cannot achieve the scale to be competitive, and that without those four tenets you cannot achieve the fifth tenet which is to improve the quality of life of the average African who is at the core of everything we do.
Dr. Adesina has the ear of the people who matter most to Africa’s growth development. President Obasanjo, leader of Africa’s largest economy, and an enormous number of current and former African Heads of State, have come out strongly in support of Dr. Adesina’s second term. So too have the Americans who value his expertise and see a solid, sensible, and effective foundation on which to build Africa’s new economic future.
Dr. Adesina personally-crafted and led the Bank’s response to the Coronavirus and turned it into one of the Continent’s most effective responses to the pandemic. Considering the devastating economic impact of Covid-19 in Africa and around the world, even the critics would agree that it makes no sense to interrupt leadership continuity in the middle of an existential human crisis.
The time for first-rate individuals to take charge of securing Africa’s rightful place on the world stage is here. Indeed, solid facts like the AfDB is three times more cost-efficient than the World Bank prove that Dr. Akinwumi has taken charge and should remain in charge.
The last word belongs perhaps to the writer Marianne Williamson who penned these familiar yet inspiring words: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” Only Africans properly-equipped for the emerging new world order, such as Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, can ensure we harness this latent power.