I am not a legacy man – Kaberuka

Dr. Donald Kaberuka
Dr. Donald Kaberuka

Outgoing African Development Bank (AfDB) President, Dr. Donald Kaberuka says he is “not a legacy man,” when a journalist asked him if he thought his legacy at the Bank would be continued after he leaves.

When he was credited with the Bank’s successes and asked about what legacy he thought he had left for the Bank and if he was not worried that his legacy would not be continued, he responded, “I am not a legacy man. The achievements of the Bank are a collective one. It’s not a one-man show,” he said.

He also publicly expressed confidence in the Bank’s President-elect Dr. Akinwumi Adesina of Nigeria.

Speaking to journalists at the just-ended AfDB Annual Meetings in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Dr. Kaberuka said, “I have full confidence in the abilities of my successor.”

Adesina was elected in a historic election of the Bank after six rounds of voting that started with eight candidates, and Kaberuka described the elections as “open, competitive, transparent and meritorious.”

Adesina, who was Nigeria’s Agriculture and Rural Development Minister, won the election with 58.10 percent of total votes cast and regional votes of 60.5 percent after six rounds of voting. Chadian, Dr Kordjé Bédoumra came second with 31.62 percent of total votes cast and 36.63 percent of regional votes. Third placed Dr. Cristina Duarte of Cape Verde received 10.27 of total votes cast and 2.87 percent of regional votes.

Adesina and Kaberuka
Adesina and Kaberuka

When Kaberuka was asked if Adesina could fit into his shoes, he answered, “He doesn’t need my shoes, he has his own shoes and they fit very well.”

Kaberuka is widely regarded as the most successful President of Africa’s premium development Bank. During his ten-year term from 2005, the Bank’s capital has tripled to $100 billion, and the Bank has made massive investments in development projects around Africa.

Kaberuka also indicated that the transition process has begun. He would handover to Adesina on September 1, 2015.

He is hopeful that the continent would achieve double-digit growth and close the infrastructure gap.

The 50th Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the 41st meetings of the African Development Fund (ADF) closed on Friday, May 29, 2015, after five days of intensive activities.

The Bank’s 50th anniversary was also commemorated.

“Today, I have been given a great responsibility, I feel humbled by this remarkable vote of confidence in me,” Adesina who becomes the eighth President of Bank said.

During the meetings, the Governors, usually Finance and Economy Ministers representing 54 regional and 26 non-regional member countries of the Bank Group adopted its 2014 annual report and 2015 work programme as well as a number of initiatives.

The theme of Meetings was “Africa and the New Global Landscape,” and was attended by about 5000 delegates from around the world.

By Emmanuel K Dogbevi, back from Abidjan, Ivory Coast

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