Sierra Leonean president, first US rep to AfDB back Akinwunmi Adesina

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The voices speaking in favour of Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), amid calls by the US government for an independent probe into whistleblower allegations have grown by two.

Julius Maada Bio, president of Sierra Leone, and Harold Doley, the first United States representative to the African Development Bank (AfDB), are the latest people speaking in favour of Adesina.

Bio, in a tweet on Sunday, assured Adesina of his unflinching support.

“Be assured @akin_adesina of my and my country’s staunch confidence and unflinching support for your bold and progressive leadership of the African Development Bank (@afdb_group),” the president tweeted.

In an open letter to US President Donald Trump which was seen by TheCable, Doley said supporting AfDB is good business for America adding that since taking office in 2015, Adesina has rapidly restructured the bank and refined its focus through a High-5 strategy.

Doley said the strategy has directly impacted the lives of millions of Africans.

He stated that this was achieved through strategic investment in energy, and electricity, agriculture, technology that significantly improved food security, access to private sector finance, improved transport infrastructure, water and sanitation.

“In 2019, with US support, the AfDB stakeholders approved a general capital increase of 115 billion dollars, the largest in the bank’s 56 years history. The increase more than doubled capital from 93 billion dollars to 208 billion dollars,” the letter read.

“Also in 2019, the bank’s concessional window, the African Development Fund, received a 35 percent replenishment with donor contributions.

“US shares of $499,695,200 represents 7.81 percent of total subscriptions are a critically needed resource for low-income countries and transition states.

“Ultimately, supporting Africa’s private sector is critical for social and economic development. In 2018, Adesina led an unprecedented effort to attract global investment into Africa through the inaugural Africa Investment Forum.”

The Nigerian government through Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance, budget and national planning, and 14 ex-presidents including Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan have also expressed support for Adesina.

In separate letters, they said an independent probe is not provided for in AfDB governing procedures after the bank’s ethics committee cleared Adesina of all charges.

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