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“Africa has lost a decade of growth” – Akinwumi Adesina on COVID-19

African Development Bank President denies allegations of ill-governanceAfrican Development Bank President denies allegations of ill-governance
African Development Bank President denies allegations of ill-governance

A speech by Akinwumi Adesina as he stood for a second term as President of the African Development Bank:

“As we meet today, the world has changed. A global COVID-19 health pandemic has

upended all plans – including travels. Health and safety have become primary for all

decision making. That’s why the Governors of the Bank took the extraordinary decision to

hold the Annual Meetings virtually — for the first time in the history of the Bank.

Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures. I applaud the Governors of the

Bank for your wisdom, sensitivity and leadership.

The COVID-19 pandemic is spreading fast and causing much havoc and untold

hardships. Lives lost — too many. Jobs lost — unimaginable. Economic losses —too deep

and vast to fathom.

Our collective humanity has never been so challenged — so tested, so vulnerable. Yet

our interdependency, our need for pulling together, uniting and staying focused together,

has never been more important.

For in unity we build strength. Strength to overcome, even the most challenging of


Pulling together has always been the strength of the African Development Bank.

We pulled together right here in Abidjan, where you the shareholders approved the

largest capital increase in the history of the Bank – raising the capital of the Bank by $115


We pulled together, yet again, in Pretoria, South Africa, and gave the African

Development Fund 35% increase in financing – financing so crucial to low income countries

and fragile states.

Fragility is transient, resilience is enduring.

Today as you look at Côte d’Ivoire, you would not remember it also was a fragile state.

Yet, today, based on visionary leadership, sound macroeconomic policies and people centered policies, it has changed dramatically.

Today, like beauty from ashes, the country

ranked among the top 10 fastest

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