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African Development Bank Prez, Adesina, comes out squeaky clean

African Development Bank Prez, Adesina, comes out squeaky clean

Johannesburg/APO – President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina has been cleared by an independent review panel of all accusations against him. The panel was chaired by former Irish President, Mary Robinson, who is also a former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Chairperson of the Elders, a global body of wise persons concerned with the world’s wellbeing.

Dr Adesina was in the crosshairs of a group of so-called whistleblowers when in January this year, sixteen allegations of ethical misconduct were levelled against him.

The allegations which were reviewed by the Bank’s Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors in March, were described as “frivolous and without merit.” The findings and rulings of the Ethics Committee were subsequently upheld by the Bureau of the Board of Governors in May, which cleared Adesina of any wrongdoing.

Adesina is a highly decorated and distinguished technocrat and globally-respected development economist. He was awarded the prestigious World Food Prize in 2017 and the Sunhak Peace Prize in 2019 for global leadership in agriculture and for good governance.

An Independent Review Panel was set up by the Bureau of Governors of the Bank, following a complaint by the United States, to review the process by which the two organs of the bank exonerated Adesina.

The three-member Independent Review Panel comprised President Robinson, as well as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Gambia, Hassan Jallow; and Leonard McCarthy, a former Director of Public Prosecutions, a former Director for the Office of Serious Economic Offences, and a former Head of the Directorate of Special Operations of South Africa. McCarthy also served as the Vice President of Integrity for the World Bank for nine years.

“The report of the Independent Review Panel states that it “concurs with the (Ethics) Committee in its findings in respect of all the allegations against the President and finds that they were properly considered and dismissed by the Committee,” the bank said in a statement released on Tuesday.

The conclusions of the Independent Review Panel are decisive and now clear the way for Governors of the Bank to re-elect Adesina to a second five-year term as President during the annual meetings of the bank scheduled for 25 to 27 August 2020.


About The Author

SADC Correspondent

SADC correspondents are independent contributors whose work covers regional issues of southern Africa outside the immediate Namibian ambit. Ed.