The former minister of Agriculture whose campaign focused on inclusive growth and regional integration will succeed incumbent Kaberuka after claiming 60% of votes.
Mr Akinwumi Adesina is a native of Ogun State.
Adesina came through six rounds of voting to land the role, defeating seven rivals from across the continent after claiming roughly 60% of the votes cast by the bank’s board of governors. He will take over from the current president, Donald Kaberuka of Rwanda, to become the organisation’s eighth leader since its foundation in 1964.
ADB is one of the continent’s biggest lending institutions, rivalling the World Bank in financing infrastructure projects to improve electricity, transport and water services. In 2013, the bank approved almost $3.16bn (₦63tn) in loans and grants to infrastructure projects on the continent, according to its annual report.
Mr Akinwunmi, 55 is development economist with a PhD from Purdue University in the US, Adesina, became Nigeria’s agriculture minister in 2011 and assume responsibility for a sector neglected for decades as Africa’s top oil producer became increasingly dependent oil revenues.
Under his stewardship, Nigeris’s food production increased by 22 million tons and food imports dropped more than a third, an agricultural revival the government claims created about 3 million jobs.
When Kaberuka finishes his term on 1 September, Adesina will take the helm of a financial institution at a crossroads.
Founded to provide capital for economic development and poverty alleviation in its member states, the bank is financed by African nations shareholder countries outside the continent.
Adesina will take the helm of a financial institution at a crossroads
But in recent years there has been a huge jump in lending to Africa from non-traditional partners, particularly China. And since 2011, more than a dozen African countries have issued their first international sovereign bonds.
I have laid out my priorities for doing that,” he wrote. “First, it’s critical to have smarter infrastructure to have increased productivity and competitiveness for Africa. The second is the private sector – it’s the engine of growth … for wealth creation. A big thing for us in Africa is an inclusive model. But also jobs for Africa’s youth, jobs for Africa’s women, reviving Africa’s rural areas for inclusive growth and, finally, to have regional integration for shared prosperity.”
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