Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, the president of the African Development Bank, reacted to criticism by The Economist, stating that the AfDB is an AAA-rated financial institution, the only one in Africa and has consistently maintained its stellar AAA credit ratings by all major global credit rating agencies.
Adesina disclosed this in a statement on Sunday, while responding to The Economist’s article which accused the bank of weak governance.
Adesina also added that the bank’s work has impacted 335 million people.
What the Economist said
In a recent article titled “Is weak governance harming the African Development Bank?”, The Economist claimed that “a number of incidents over the past two years raise troubling questions about how it is managed and whether its internal watchdogs have sufficient oversight of the AfDB’s executives.
They also throw into question whether the bank retains the full confidence of the creditors, donors and shareholders who fund it and whose support it needs to prevent African economies from being dragged down by mounting debt, surging international food and energy prices and the lingering effects of the pandemic.
“When taken as a whole they paint a picture of an organisation in need of reform. Its shareholders may have many reasons for not demanding change. Borrowing countries may worry that speaking up could result in fewer loans. Non-African donors, some of which are former colonial powers, may worry they will be seen as meddlers,” The Economists added.
The AfDB’s response
Adesina in his statement responded that the African Development Bank was ranked by Global Finance as the Best multilateral financial institution in the world in 2021. He said the African Development Fund was ranked by CGD as second best in the world, ahead of all 28 concessional financing institutions in developed countries.
- “We are a AAA-rated financial institution, the only one in Africa. We have consistently maintained our stellar AAA credit ratings by all major global credit rating agencies, who consistently praise our excellent risk management at the Bank.
- “We have an excellent and robust management and governance system. We deliver great value for our clients in Africa. Over the past six years, through our High 5 programs, our work has impacted on 335 million people. We deliver great value,” he said.
- Adesina also revealed that when COVID-19 struck, the Board, based on rigorous risk assessments, approved a crisis response facility of up to $10 billion, launching a $3 billion fight against Covid-19 social bond on the global capital markets, the highest ever US dollar-denominated social bond in world history.
- “Our rapid COVID-19 response facility helped towards stabilizing African economies. It trained 130,000 health workers. It provided social protection for about 30 million vulnerable households. It provided advisory support for 300,000 small and medium-sized businesses
- “We will continue to make Africa proud as Africa’s only AAA-rated financial institution,” he said.
The bank says it is well managed, is able to raise funds and is commended by its African members.