Economic Community of West Africa has thrown its weight behind the re-election of the President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina.
Adesina, who first got elected on May 28, 2015, received the nod after the Authority of Heads of States and Governments of ECOWAS held their 56th ordinary session in Abuja, Nigeria. Before running for the presidency of AfDB, Adesina was Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development from 2011 to 2015.
Speaking on the reason for its support, ECOWAS stated that, “In recognition of the sterling performance of Dr Akinwumi Adesina during his first term in office as President of the African Development Bank, the authority endorses his candidacy for a second term as the President of the bank.”
Adesina has solid support: Before the resolution by the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, Adesina had already earned the backing of President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term. The Ivorian government and President, Alassane Ouattara, had also canvassed for Adesina to be reelected. Note that the AfDB election will be held in Ivory Coast.
His appointment in 2015 was backed by notable names in Nigeria such as former President Goodluck Jonathan, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, General Yakubu Gowon, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Vice-Presidents Atiku Abubakar and Namadi Sambo, and Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. These names, he acknowledged, were key factors to his emergence as AfDB President.
Adesina’s contenders: The number of candidates vying for the AfDB President seat with Adesina is unclear. Registration of candidate will, however, be concluded on January 31, 2020, so the number of registered candidates will be known by February 21, 2020, according to AfDB.
The AfDB President will be announced on May 28, 2020, during the Annual Meeting of its Board of Governors.