All the eight candidates contesting the presidency of the African Development bank (AfDB), rounded off their campaign at the weekend and await declaration of the winner later this week. The declaration of a new president will be made on May 28, during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the bank in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The week-long annual forum of continental financial institution, where 54 member states and 26 non-member states, which include the U.K. and the U.S., begins Monday in Abidjan.
Nigeria’s candidate and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, on Monday expressed optimism that he would be declared the president, having consulted widely. Dr Olukayode Oyeleye, the Special Adviser to the Minister on Media, told NAN via an email that Adesina recorded tremendous support from African nations and other stakeholders beyond Africa during his campaign.
“The minister has embarked extensively on campaigns and recorded tremendous support from African nations and other stakeholders beyond Africa. “Now, campaign is ending. It is time to expect his declaration as president by the Bank’s board, and that is coming up later in the week. “His presidency will prioritise the development in energy sector across the continent, ICT and urban infrastructure. “Emphasis will be on private sector growth and a shift in emphasis from aid dependence.
“Supporting programmes that will create employment for youths, promote venture capitalism and private equity in the continent’s economy,’’ Oyeleye told NAN. According to him, the minister will also dwell in reviving rural economy through agricultural transformation and strengthen regional integration and economy.
NAN reports that seven other candidates in the election are Sufian Ahmed from Ethiopian, Jaloul Ayed from Tunisian, Kordjé Bedoumra from Chad, Cristina Duarte from Cabo Verde. Others are Samura Kamara from Sierra Leone, Thomas Sakala from Zimbabwe and Birama Boubacar Sidibé of Mali.
The bank had on April 30, published the “Voting Powers’’ to be used in the computation of the votes during the election of the president on its official website.
NAN also reports that all the 54 regional members have a combined 3,844,574 votes with voting powers of 59.722, while 26 non-regional members, including the U.K and U.S. have 2,592,862 votes and voting powers of 40.278. The voting powers, NAN learnt on Sunday, indicated that Nigeria has the highest 595,838 votes with voting powers of 9.256.
AfDB operates under the leadership of the President who serves as the legal representative of the Bank, the Chairperson of the Board of Directors and the Chief of Staff of the Bank. The president conducts the current business of the bank under the direction of the board of directors.
The president is elected by the Board of Governors and serves a five-year term, renewable once. The current President, Dr Donald Kaberuka, a national of Rwanda, was elected in July 2005, and began his first term on Sept. 1, 2005 and was re-elected in May 2010. (NAN)