An unnamed whistleblower accused the president of Africa Development Bank (AfDB) Mr Adesina of major conflicts of interest in his dealings with current and former employees and unethical conduct. The whistleblowers also accused Mr Adesina of preferential treatment for Nigeria and Nigerians.

The audit committee carried out an investigation and the bank board’s chair – Ivorian Planning Minister Nialé Kaba declared that Mr Adesina was “totally exonerated of all allegations made against him” and recommended that the board of governors adopt its conclusions. But the United States which is the second-highest shareholder in AfDB rejected their submission and requested for external auditing. The AfDB board subsequently agreed to an independent investigation into the allegations after Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland supported the US position, according to Bloomberg news agency.

Besides the core 54 African countries, the US is one of the 27 non-regional members of the AfDB and its second-largest shareholder after Nigeria. AfDB’s 10 biggest shareholders includes Nigeria: 9.1%; US: 6.5%; Egypt: 5.5%; Japan: 5.4%; South Africa: 4.9% Algeria: 4.1%; Germany: 4%; Canada: 3.8%; Ivory Coast: 3.7%; France: 3.6%.

Mr Adesina, who holds a PhD in agricultural economics from Purdue University in the US fires back through a statement after he stepped down for the independent investigation to proceed.

“In spite of unprecedented attempts by some to tarnish my reputation and prejudice the bank’s governance procedures, I maintain my innocence with regard to trumped up allegations that unjustly seek to impugn my honour and integrity,” he wrote.

“I am confident that fair, transparent and just processes that respect the rules, procedures and governance systems of the Bank, and rule of law, will ultimately prove that I have not violated the Code of Ethics of this extraordinary institution.”

As you may be aware the President of the Bank, Dr Adesina has performed very well in this position over the past 5 yrs. He has taken the Bank to great heights. In 2020, he led the Bank to achieve a historic general capital increase, raising the capital of the Bank from $93billion to $208billion, the highest in the history of the Bank since its establishment in 1964.

Over the past four years, it is estimated that 18 million people were provided with access to electricity, through “Light Up and Power Africa”; 141 million people gained access to improved agricultural technologies for food security, through “Feed Africa”. 13 million people benefited from access to finance from private sector investment projects, through “Industrialize Africa”; 101 million people benefitted from access to better transport through “integrate Africa”; 60 million people benefit from improved access to water.

Adesina is to be re-elected unopposed at its annual general meeting in August and it’s like the Non-African members of AfDB is not okay with that. Many people believed the probe is a result of US losing her dominance in Africa to China and of course the success Adesina’s administration recorded especially in Agriculture is a treat to US, France and other developed control of the continent. A developed Africa will really be something that might bankrupt many developed countries because many of their plants depend on raw material from Africa.


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