15 Former African Leaders Express Support for Adesina, Shun United States

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14 former African Presidents including a former Prime Minister have expressed their support for the President of the African Development Bank (AFDV) Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina and asked the United States to respect the governing systems of the bank.

According to the former leaders which included former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Adesina and the AFDB should not be distracted at a time when the continent is battling a COVID-19 pandemic.

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They opined further that conflict resolution professes outside the laid down rules of the bank will undermine it’s reputation and processes.

In a joint statement, the leaders said;

“Adesina, who some whistleblowers alleged to have violated the banks’ code of ethics, has firmly and consistently declared his innocence of these allegations.

“The ethics committee of the board of directors, a legal oversight body of the bank, made up of representatives of shareholders, cleared Dr Adesina of all 16 allegations, declaring them as baseless and unsubstantiated and exonerated him completely.

“Governance is all about respecting and abiding by rules, laws and established governing systems of organizations. In the case of the AfDB, while differences may exist among parties, the best way to address them is to first respect the rules, procedures and governance structures of the bank.

“The African Development Bank is a pride for all of Africa, and its president, Dr Adesina, has taken the bank to enviable heights. At this critical time that Africa is battling with COVID-19, the bank and its president should not be distracted.”

They went ahead to list the achievements of the continental Bank under the leadership of Dr. Adesina.

“The bank announced a $10 billion crisis response facility to support countries in Africa. The bank also successfully launched a $3 billion Fight COVID-19 social bond, the largest ever US dollar-denominated bond in world history”.

“Powered by his vision and leadership, the shareholders of the bank from 80 countries all approved a general capital increase of $115 billion for the bank, the largest in its history since establishment in 1964.

“The bank has been doing a lot for women, with a $3 billion fund to provide access to finance to women, supported by G7 countries and Africa.

“Across the continent, the bank’s presence and work have been highly visible and impactful. In less than five years, the bank’s High 5 agenda has impacted over 333 million people, from access to electricity, food security, access to finance via the private sector, improve transport, and access to water and sanitation.

“The bank has maintained its stellar AAA rating among all global rating agencies.”

They thereafter urged all shareholders to work with mutual respect while honouring laid down rules and procedures because no country has veto power over the African Development Bank and no country should ever have such power.

No nation, regardless of how powerful, has veto power over the African Development Bank, and no nation should have such power”.

The signatories to the statement include;

  1. Olusegun Obasanjo – President Nigeria (1999-2007).
  2. Boni Yayi – President Republic of Benin (2006 – 2016).
  3. Hailemariam Desalegn -. Prime Minister Ethiopia (2012 – 2018).
  4. John Kufour – President Ghana (2001-2009).
  5. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – Presdient Liberia (2006 – 2018).
  6. Joyce Banda – President Malawi (2012-2014).
  7. Joaquim Chissano – President Mozambique ( 1986 – 2005).
  8. Tandja Mamadou – President Niger (1999-2010).
  9. Goodluck Jonathan – President Nigeria (2010-2015).
  10. Mohamed Marzouki – President Tunisia (2011-2014).
  11. Benjamin Mkapa – President Tanzania (1995-2005).
  12. Ameenah Gurib-Fakin – President Mauritius (2015-2018).
  13. Rupiah Banda – President Zambia (2008-2011).
  14. Kgalema Motlanthe – President South Africa (2008-2009).
  15. Jakaya Kikwete – President Tanzania (2005-2015).

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