By Jimoh Babatunde
The President of the African Development Bank, AfDB, Akinwumi Adesina, has been commended for his visionary leadership and bold initiatives to accelerate Africa’s development and to support the continent through the COVID-19 crisis.
The commendation was given by South Africa’s President and African Union Chairman, Cyril Ramaphosa, and the Nobel peace laureate and former Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
President Ramaphosa expressed appreciation for the Bank’s commitment of $26 million for the African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, its support in the procurement of critical medical supplies in Africa, and the financial instruments the Bank has provided to assist member countries through the pandemic.
Recall that AfDB recently launched a $3 billion “Fight COVID-19” social bond, with bids exceeding $4.6 billion.
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 $10 billion Crisis Response Facility to support Africa and to address the pandemic.
Through these initiatives, AfDB is poised to deploy funds to provide African governments and the private sector with access to financing to reduce the economic and social impacts of COVID-19.
“I commend the AfDB for taking these bold initiatives and for the role played by the AfDB under your leadership during this challenging period,” President Ramaphosa, also the current chair of the African Union, said in a written message to Dr. Adesina.
Echoing President Ramaphosa’s statement, President Sirleaf said: “The leaders of Africa, and I dare say the world, have recognised the important changes that you have made in the Bank – reorganisation of management and restructuring of Bank operations around the High 5s that represent a response to Africa’s more critical development needs.”
Acknowledging the Bank’s highest ever capital replenishment last year, Sirleaf added: “Take heart, dear President, knowing that Africa respects your intellect and commitment and is pleased that through your leadership our premier institution has received worldwide acknowledgment and recognition for high-quality performance and impacting results.”