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