Now, as president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), he may be punch ball of a global political agenda pitting the US against African leaders, and maybe China.
“The leadership crisis at the AfDB is too important to ignore, especially at this time when the lender is raising funds to shore up its capital base for onward lending to African countries, many of which are battling debt crisis and the Corona pandemic,” Peter Mwencha, a specialist in international political economy and CEO of the International Relations Society of Kenya, said, referring to the bank’s bid to raise more than $100 billion from shareholders.
Africans are questioning why foreigners should have such a huge influence in such an important African institution,” he added, but challenged African leaders to consider raising their shareholding in the bank.
But the US stance, to have Dr Adesina re-investigated, has seen African leaders, including Nigeria, where he comes from, rally behind him.
“At this critical time that Africa is battling with Covid-19, the Bank and its President should not be distracted,” Obasanjo argued in a letter that was also signed by Jakaya Kikwete, Goodluck Jonathan, Joachim Chissano, Ellen-Johnson Sirleaf, Joyce Banda, Tandja Mamadou and several other leaders.