World

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A new impartial investigation has been launched against the President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, over sixteen charges of unethical conduct

PHOTO CREDITS: THE CITIZEN

A new impartial investigation has been launched against the President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina. Adesina is facing charges of unethical conduct, including violating the organization’s Code of Conduct, showing favouritism to certain executives and countries, and giving jobs to friends and family. The new investigation has been lobbied for tirelessly by the United States Secretary of Treasury, Steven Mnuchin. ~

According to Bloomberg, the first investigation was executed by the internal ethics board of the African Development Bank. It was a three month investigation involving 16 allegations of misconduct and 250 pages of documents that ended with Adesina being cleared of all charges of misconduct. Such charges were surprising to many. Adesina is a widely respected figure both on the African continent and abroad. Adesina won the World Food Prize, the foremost award for efforts in agriculture and nutrition, for his efforts as the Nigerian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and as the President of the African Development Bank to make it easier for smallholder farmers to get access to credit. His work provided millions with abilities to purchase fertilizer and better implements to improve yields. ~

However, now it seems that a geopolitical spat over control of the African Development Bank may jeopardize that reputation. According to Bloomberg, Adesina claims that the allegations from unidentified whistleblowers are lies being used to block his unopposed bid for a second term at the helm of the lender. The US Secretary of the Treasury sent a letter, rejecting the findings of the investigation and claiming that the process was full of errors, both of which Adesina denies. The United States is the second largest contributor to the fund, after Nigeria, and is likely trying to gain more control over the process of distributing the over $100 billion dollars of aid to stabilize African economies hobbled by the coronavirus. The independent review of allegations of misconduct will take place over the next four weeks and be carried out by a third party individual. ~

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