Akinwunmi Adesina, president-elect of the African Development Bank, is on a mission to eradicate poverty. Will he Succeed?
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Jun 15, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT |
AKINWUNMI Adesina, president-elect of the African Development Bank, AfDB, and former Nigerian minister of agriculture, is to devote his tenure to tackling poverty in Africa. Adesina, who is newly elected president of the bank, is to reduce poverty through infrastructural development, job creation, regional integration and development of agriculture at the rural level.
His emergence as AfDB president serves as a beacon of hope to Africa and Nigeria as it will open a new vista in the developmental drives of the continent. Adesina, who paid during a courtesy call to Ibikunle Amosun, Ogun state governor, on Monday, June 1, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and other top Nigerians for working assiduously to ensure he became the president of the bank out of the eight contestants who jostled for the job.
The time had come for the Africa continent to tackle the challenges of inadequate electricity supply, unemployment and other social imbalances, he said, adding: “I want to assure you that I as the President of the bank, by the grace of God, poverty will not be the comparative advantage of Africa and we will work very hard to develop programmes that will end poverty on this continent.”
“I will evolve programmes that will lead people out of poverty and create opportunities for shared prosperity all across our continent. I think critical issues of infrastructure will be important; energy for all will be important; electricity will be important and critical to build the private sector and to create wealth all across our continent. We want to make sure we are able to create jobs for hundreds of millions of our people instead of people going across the Sahara Desert or the Mediterranean Sea to go to Europe; we want to create jobs on this continent of Africa and we can do that,” he said.
Adesina said there was the need to revive rural economies in Africa and lift hundreds of rural people that depended on agriculture out of poverty. “So, getting agriculture to work as a business is going to be a big one that we are going to do for inclusive growth and also into regional integration.”
He stressed that his vision for Africa was that of a stable, peaceful and a secured continent. “My dream and vision for Africa is one; an Africa that is growing well, has a lot of shared prosperity and an Africa where you have a lot of peace, stability and security, and one which is regionally integrated within ourselves but also globally competitive in what we do,” he added.
The governor, in his response, expressed confidence in Adesina, stressing that his performance as the immediate past minister of agriculture placed him in a better stead for better performance at the AfDB. “You did well when you served the nation as the minister of Agriculture, and now that you are going to serve the entire continent of Africa, I believe you will do better. I am happy this is happening during my own time,” Amosun said.
Adesian, who was elected as the AfDB president on Thursday, May 28, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, was fully supported by Nigerian president. President Buhari had in April communicated his backing of Adesina’s candidacy to John Mahama, Ghana President. He said his support of Adesina’s candidacy was not just because he is Nigerian but because he has a proven track record in a career that predates his position as Nigeria’s minister of agriculture and rural development.
He added that Adesina had years of experience of working in Francophone and Anglophone countries, and a passion to help eradicate poverty in Africa by reducing unemployment and inequality among African youth. Adesina is also an agricultural development expert with 24 years of experience in developing and managing successful agricultural Programmes across Africa.