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Updated May 28, 2020
African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina
African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina


A new investigation will be conducted into allegations made against Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), by a group of anonymous staff members. The bank’s Ethics Committee had already done an investigation and exonerated him, but United States treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin rejected their report and requested an independent investigation. Meeting on May 26, the bank’s Board of Governors, which oversees the Ethics Committee, approved the launch of an independent investigation into the allegations.

Adesina has been accused of nepotism and handing lucrative contracts to personal acquaintances, allegations he has fervently denied.


The US is the second-largest shareholder in the African Development Bank


Washington was able to push for this renewed scrutiny, as the US is the second-largest shareholder in the AfDB with a 6.5 percent stake, second only to Nigeria.

Nialé Kaba, chair of the bank’s Board of Governors, described the US involvement as an attempt to scuttle Adesina’s prospects of being re-elected at an annual general meeting in August. He is currently running unopposed for the position.


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