Editorial :AfDB has proven to be a towering pillar in times of crisis

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President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, has again received high plaudits from his colleague African Heads of State for his sterling leadership. Former Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and South Africa’s President and African Union chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa jointly commended Akinwumi for his visionary leadership and bold initiatives to accelerate Africa’s development and to support the continent through the COVID-19 crisis. Ramaphosa expressed appreciation for the Bank’s commitment of US$26million for the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, its support in the procurement of critical medical supplies in Africa, as well as the financial instruments the Bank has provided to assist member-countries through the pandemic.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) recently launched a US$3billion ‘Fight COVID-19’ social bond, with bids exceeding US$4.6billion. It is the largest dollar-denominated social bond ever launched in international capital markets, and the largest US dollar benchmark ever issued by the Bank.

The Bank also launched a US$10 billion Crisis Response Facility to support Africa and to address the pandemic.

Under Adesina’s leadership, the African Development Bank has centred its mission around its ‘High 5’ development priorities: Light Up and Power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialise Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa.

President Sirleaf on the other hand said: “Africa respects your intellect and commitment, and is pleased that through your leadership our premier institution has received worldwide acknowledgement and recognition for high-quality performance and impacting results”.

Dr. Adesina is widely acknowledged as a bright African star whose passion for accelerating development of the continent is never in doubt, and the Bank is indeed fortunate to have a brilliant intellect who relies on practical solutions to address the myriad problems confronting the continent.

His acclaimed leadership at the AfDB comes with meritorious accomplishments even as Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria. With such quality of leadership – even though in short supply, the continent’s future holds promise.

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