The president of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina, has been re-elected to his second term. Dr Adesina scored a 100 per cent victory, garnering all the votes of the regional and non-regional shareholders of the bank. It was an unparalleled occurrence in the bank’s 56-year history.
The AfDB has committed itself to building competitive agricultural value chains by investing in technologies to reach tens of millions of farmers across the continent. With a membership of 81 countries, the bank has charted a new way forward for Africa, raising hope in the continent’s development.
In his inauguration speech, Dr Adesina re-affirmed the bank’s commitment to investing in value addition of produce as well as providing creative and high-end tech opportunities to boost youth engagement in agriculture and agribusiness.
He said that the bank would be relying on its five priorities (The High5s) to accelerate Africa’s development.
“The High5s have taken hold on the continent and become the keys for accelerating Africa’s development. The UNDP has shown that achieving the High5s would lead to an achievement of 90 per cent of the SDGs and the Agenda 2063 of the African Union,” he said.
Through the bank’s High 5s programmes, 335 million people have benefited, with 141 million gaining access to improved agricultural technologies for food security over the past five years. Some 150 million people across Africa have been adequately fed, and 100 million have been lifted out of poverty. Over 190 million hectares of land have been restored to productivity.
The High5s have also saw 18 million people access electricity, and 15 million got finance from private investments. Another 101 million accessed improved transport infrastructure, with 60 million getting water and improved sanitation.
“We’ve achieved impressive results. The bank’s High5 programmes have impacted 335 million people. That’s what the African Development Bank, your bank, is all about … ‘people impact’,” he added.
Dr Adenisa, who is the 8th elected president of the AfDB, said the bank’s targeted investment and financing for climate change by the year 2021 is $25 billion.
“We have been accountable for the climate since the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) held in Paris in 2015. The bank’s climate financing expanded from nine per cent in 2015 to 36 per cent by 2019 – an increase of 400 per cent,” he said.