No fewer than 15 former African Presidents on Friday signed a statement, rallying support for the President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, lauding him for taking the bank to enviable heights.
In the statement, the former leaders described AfDB as “pride of the continent”.
They cautioned that at this critical time that Africa was battling with COVID-19, the bank and its president should not be distracted.
The United States Treasury Department had called for an independent probe of corruption allegations leveled against Adesina after being cleared by the bank’s ethics committee.
Speaking further, the ex presidents said governance was all about respecting and abiding by rules, laws, and established governing systems of organisations.
They added that in the case of AfDB, while differences might exist among the parties, the best way to address them was to first respect the rules, procedures and governance structures of the bank.
“To do otherwise will be tantamount to undermining the Bank and its long and hard earned reputation, and that of its President.
“Differences will always occur but we urge that all stakeholders work together. All concerned stakeholders should work with mutual respect, and honour the rules and procedures of the bank and its governance systems that have served it well for 56 years.
“No nation, regardless of how powerful, has a veto power over the AfDB, and no nation should have such power,” they said.
The ex presidents, who took time to reel out the achievements of the AfDB, noted that the bank had performed remarkably well under the leadership of Adesina.
“The Bank is a pride for all of Africa, and its President, Dr Adesina, has taken it to enviable heights.
”At this critical time that Africa is battling with COVID-19, the Bank and its President should not be distracted,” said the ex presidents.
They specifically lauded Adesina on the bank’s intervention of 10 billion dollars crisis response facility to support countries in Africa and the inauguration of three billion dollars “COVID-19 social bond”, the largest ever denominated bond in the history of the world.
They added that the bank’s presence and work had been highly visible and impactful, stating that in less than five years, the bank’s agenda had impacted more than 333 million people across the continent.
Signatories to the statement are:
H.E Olusegun Obasanjo (President of Nigeria; 1999-2007)
H.E Boni Yayi (President of Benin; 2006-2016)
H.E Hailemariam Desalegn (Prime Minister of Ethiopia; 2012 – 2018)
H.E John Kufour (President of Ghana; 2001 – 2009)
H.E Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (President of Liberia; 2006 – 2018)
H.E Joyce Banda (President of Malawi; 2012 – 2014)
H.E Joaquim Chissano (President of Mozambique; 1986 – 2005)
H.E Tandja Mamadou (President of Niger; 1999 – 2010)
H.E Goodluck Jonathan (President of Nigeria; 2010-2015)
H.E Mohamed Marzouki (President of Tunisia; 2011 – 2014)
H.E Benjamin Mkapa (President of Tanzania; 1995 – 2005)
H.E Ameenah Gurib-Fakin (President of Mauritius; 2015 – 2018)
H.E Rupiah Banda (President of Zambia; 2008 – 2011)
H.E Kgalema Motlanthe (President of South Africa; 2008-2009)
H.E Jakaya Kikwete (President of Tanzania; 2005 – 2015)