Eight prominent Africans including Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina are contesting for the Presidency of the African Development Bank. The other contenders are Sufian Ahmed of Ethiopia, Jaloul Ayed of Tunisia, Kordjé Bedoumra of Chad, Cristina Duarte of Cape Verde, M. W. Kamara of Sierra Leone, Thomas Z. Sakala of Zimbabwe, and Boubacar Sidibe of Mali.
Five of the eight are currently serving as ministers, while one is a former minister and development banking specialist. In an extensive dossier published in the second quarter issue of African Banker, the eight candidates indicated their suitability for the job and the credentials required to lead Africa’s most prominent development institution.
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, feels that his experience in transforming the agricultural sector in Nigeria, as well as his first experience working and operating in various African countries will keep him in good stead. His vision is based on continuing decentralisation and increasing support for private initiatives.
Having overseen Ethiopia’s strong growth into one of Africa’s leading economies, Sufian Ahmed, the country’s Finance Minister believes the AfDB will be safe in his experienced hands.
The Former Minister of Finance of Tunisia, Jaloul Ayed, asserts that his banking experience has allowed him to gain a clear understanding of Africa’s full potential. He calls for an AfDB that is closer to its markets.
Chad’s Minister of Finance and Budget, Kordjé Bedoumra, states that following his previous tenure at the AfDB, he has the experience and expertise to improve operational efficiency of the Bank as well as shape its short and long term policies.
The only female candidate in the running is Cristina Duarte, Minister of Finance and Planning, Cape Verde. She says that whatever improvements need to be made, the AfDB can never forget its mission – that is to serve Africa and its people.
With his broad experience in a number of financial institutions Samura M. W. Kamara, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation believes that he is the right person to ensure the AfDB works for Africa.
The former AfDB vice president, Zimbabwe’s Thomas Z. Sakala, has plenty of experience working at the AfDB, and believes he is well suited to keep the Bank’s programmes and strategies on the right track.
And last but not least, Birama Boubacar Sidibé, the Malian Vice President of the Islamic Bank of Development says that with his wealth of experience in African development institutions, he intends to make the AfDB more efficient in its decentralised organisation and expand its business operations.