By Mustapha Sumaila
President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina says 141 million people have benefitted from improved agricultural technologies to enhance food security in the last five years he assumed office.
Adesina made this known during the opening of the bank’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held virtually on Wednesday.
He said about 18 million people now had access to electricity, while 15 million people had access to finance.
According to him, 101 million people can have access to improved transport, while 60 million Africans gained access to water and sanitation.
He noted that as president of the Bank in the last five years, it was a great honour and responsibility placed on his shoulders.
According to him, working together has always been the strength of the AfDB and shareholders worked together in Abidjan to approve the largest capital increase in the history of the Bank.
He added that the shareholders increased the capital base of the Bank by 115 billion dollars.
Adesina said that the shareholders also pulled together yet again in Pretoria, South Africa, and gave the African Development Fund 35 per cent increase in financing which is so crucial to low income countriesand fragile states.
“I promised to work hard to accelerate Africa’s development. My vision for the High 5s was my bond and my oath of office, my compass!
“Time has gone so fast. Fast also has been our impacts in those five years for Africa’s progress.
“I thank the Board of Directors and my extraordinary staff at the Bank for working so hard and for strongly supporting us to get this done.
“But we will have no rest. The price of good work is more work. We have our work cut out for us now more than ever to help Africa rebound, and to get back on a stronger pathway of economic growth and resilience.
“Today, I stand before you with gratefulness for your strong and collective support overthe past five years.
“We succeeded together and together we must also go forward, reaching for what lies before us to help fast-track Africa’s development building on our collective achievements, strengthening weaknesses and deepening our impacts.
“At this Annual Meetings, I offer myself to you our governors for your consideration for election for a second term as President.
“I do so with humility, with a strong sense of duty and commitment and a call to serve Africa and our Bank selflessly, to the very best of my God-given abilities,” he said