The outgoing Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has emerged president of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Mr Musibau Azzze, National Coordinator of RUFIN confirmed on Thursday in Addis Ababa that, Nigeria’s Agriculture Minister, won the AfDB elections.

Adesina will now take over from outgoing bank president, Donald Kaberuka on September 1.

The election was part of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the bank in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

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Adesina defeated contenders like Sufian Ahmed, Jaloul Ayed, Kordjé Bedoumra, Cristina Duarte, Samura M. W. Kamara,Thomas Z. Sakala and Birama Boubacar Sidibé to become the 50-year-old body’s eighth leader.

Earlier, President-elect Muhammadu Buhari had requested the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to support the candidacy of Adesina as the body’s president.

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Buhari had communicated his backing of Dr Adesina’s candidacy to Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama, the chairman of ECOWAS, a statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, said.

Reacting to his victory, Adesina told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone interview that he was highly honoured and delighted.

He promised to revolutionalise agriculture in the continent and give it a new face.

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The minister said that he will not let anybody down, saying his emergence was a straight fight, which he appreciated.

Also reacting, Dr Abimbola Adubi, Agricultural expert with the World Bank described the outcome of the election as a victory for the continent.

He said Adesina will bring his experience to bear considering what he had done in the agriculture sector in Nigeria and Africa. (NAN)

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