‘’Decisions made in Washington are more important to us than those made here in Dar es-Salaam. So may be my people should be allowed to vote in American presidential elections.’’ That was vintage Julius Kambarage Nyerere, Pan-Africanist, and statesman, who died on 13 October 1999. That was one of the quotes we used to campaign against what we considered the overbearing influence of President Donald Trump’s America at the African Development Bank a few months ago when he attempted to block Nigeria’s brilliant mind, Dr. Aknwumi Adesina from running for a second term as AfDB president.
Nyerere, fondly called: Nwalimu (the teacher) also advanced arguments that: ‘’Independence cannot be real if a nation depends upon gifts” and ”No nation has the right to make decisions for another nation; no people for another people.”
Nigeria’s potential for greatness is effervescent and could be felt thousands of miles away. I cultivated some friends in the African Diaspora who till today invite my attention to positive developments even as they occur in the African continent. . I opened my email box this morning to read about a piece about Africa sent to me from the United States by one of them. It cannot be an exclusive because it is contained on the website of the African Development Bank and speaks eloquently about Akinwumi Adesina’s leadership blessings. One of them sent the piece on which this message is premised.
Nyerere, in one of his public speeches had argued that: ‘’Africa does now have a core of highly educated and internationally recognised experts in different fields. Given the number of technically and professionally educated Africans in our countries at independence, and the paucity of secondary or tertiary educational institutions at that time, the number of high-calibre experts in Africa is now much larger than could reasonably have been expected after this lapse of time. Perhaps we are misusing them, but they are there now. At independence, some of our countries had no trained people at all.’’
The prestigious U.S. magazine, Global Finance, specializing in financial markets and investment banking, has named the African Development Bank as the “Best Multilateral Financial Institution in the world for 2021”.
The award is a global recognition for the path breaking efforts of the African Development Bank as it transforms itself into a solutions bank for Africa, through a combination of its operations, knowledge services and investment positioning, which continue to help accelerate Africa’s development.
The award is an affirmation of the success of the operational strategy being pursued by the African Development Bank under the leadership of Akinwumi A. Adesina, who was unanimously re-elected to a second consecutive five-year term as President of the institution last year.
“With widespread expectations of consolidation in multiple sectors and all around the world, investment banks will play a leading role in reshaping the world economy post-pandemic,” said Joseph D. Giarraputo, publisher and editorial director of Global Finance on announcing the winning list.
“Companies need more than ever to understand the specialties and skills that investment banks bring to the table. Global Finance awards are a valuable guide.”
In 2020 the African Development Bank received broad recognition for responding swiftly to the needs of the African continent in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and for its pioneering role in the global social bond market.
In October 2020, the African Development Bank was selected in a poll of global bond market players as the best issuer for its $3 billion dollar-denominated Fight Covid-19 social bond, issued on 27 March 2020.
The Bank’s Fight Covid-19 Social bond was the largest ever US dollar denominated bond in world history, floated on the Luxembourg stock exchange, and listed on the London Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Platform.
Also, in March 2020, the African Development Bank received the Environmental Finance’s 2020 bond of the year award—SSA category— for a successful one billion Norwegian Krone social bond issued in 2019. It was the first social bond ever launched in the Norwegian market, and the African Development Bank’s first transaction in Norwegian Krone.
Since 2017, the African Development Bank has launched nearly $5 billion worth of such instruments, denominated in US dollars, euros and Norwegian Krone.
Bank President Akinwumi Adesina, said: “I am delighted at Global Finance’s recognition of the African Development Bank as the best multilateral financial institution in the world in 2021. I am proud that for first time since its establishment in 1964, the African Development Bank has risen to a position as a foremost globally-respected financial institution.”
Adesina described the award as one which was “duly earned” and credited the Bank’s continued success to a new culture of results, strong client orientation, leadership, creativity and continued innovation by a team of excellent staff across all its jurisdictions. He added: “We are constantly innovating, developing and deploying financial, investment and knowledge products to meet the rapidly changing needs of African countries and the private sector.”
In February 2021, the ratings agency S&P Global affirmed the African Development Bank’s “AAA/A-1+” foreign currency issuer credit rating with a stable outlook. The Bank has continued to receive extraordinary support from its shareholders, including an increase in its subscribed capital from $93 billion to $208 billion, the largest increase in its capital since its establishment.
According to Adesina “The extraordinary support of our shareholders and the strong corporate governance of the Bank’s board of directors have served us well. We will continue to leverage our resources to better serve our clients.”
The full results of the 22nd annual World’s Best Investment Banks will be published in an exclusive survey in the April 2021 print and digital editions and online at GFMag.com.
So, TERRIFIC HEADLINES asks? Who says nothing good can come out of Africa? Congratulations! Africa