WITH a couple of weeks to the May 28 election of the new President of the African Development Bank AfDB, the race for the highly coveted seat at the African's biggest financial institution has gained palpable momentum
By Ahmed Mukiibi
WITH a couple of weeks to the May 28 election of the new President of the African Development Bank AfDB, the race for the highly coveted seat at the African's biggest financial institution has gained palpable momentum.
Palpable in the sense that all the eight candidates are making last-ditch efforts to win over support from each of the 74 member states including twenty-four non-African countries.
The election will be held on 28 May 2015, during the Bank's Annual General Meeting, in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, from 25 to 29 May. The victor will take over from Rwanda's Dr. Donald Kaberuka, who is ineligible to stand for a third term, having has already served two consecutive five-year terms.
In Chad where one of the front runners hails, the race for the presidency of the AfDB is the talk of town with recurrent updates and developments on all major media outlets that fill the airwaves of the Capital N'Djamena and other big towns in this vast desert country of about 14 Million people.
The candidacy of Mr. Kordjé Bedoumra, the current Minister for Finance and Budget , a soft-spoken intellectual has united the ethnically diverse Chad, which is just emerging from the ruins of many years in internal strife.
President Idriss Deby Itno has for the last two years been personally promoting the candidacy of Mr. Bedoumra to his fellow heads of government , twice taking him to the African Union Summits in Addis Ababa and also to regional meeting to sell his candidacy .
On May 3, 2015, in the capital Ndjamena, the Prime of Chad Kalzeubet Payime Deubet hosted a dinner for the Ambassadors and Chief of diplomatic Missions in Chad to drum up support for Bedourma, a former employee of AfDB for 16 years at the top level including two (2) year as Vice President in charge Institutions Services.
In an interview with Business Vision at Sharabel Hotel in Ndjamena on May 2, 2015, Mr. Bedourma a 63 year old father of three children, said his vision for the AfDB is in line with the deep commitment to Act for an Emerging Africa in the context of a changing world.
" I harbor the ambition to make the Bank, the reference Institution, a house of innovation and flexibility, less bureaucratic and more results-oriented, for the emergence of our continent. For me, this commitment is more than a mission, it's a priesthood", he told the Business Vision.
He said his program will focus on five priorities;
- Speed up regional economic integration to create a dynamic and competitive African market in a changing world and characterized by more performing economic groupings;
- Make youth employment and women empowerment a top priority for inclusive and sustainable development of the continent;
- Promote the development of a trained, educated and healthy human capital for a creative Africa, master of knowledge and of its destiny;
- Promote better integration of issues related to peace, security and governance in the design and implementation of development programs
- Transform the AfDB into a more innovative Institution which focuses on its effective contribution to the emergence of the continent.
As, President of AfDB, Mr. Bedourma said he will convoke with Member Countries and the Board of Directors, a road map based on the five priorities which contains the main areas of the 10-year Strategy of the AfDB for the period 2013-2022.
"It is about responding effectively to the challenges of today taking advantage of the positive momentum of Africa", he said.
He reiterated the need to change the development scale in Africa and has that AfDB, which is commemorating its 50 years serving Africa, must be this tool of reference.
Other Candidates for AfDB presidency are Akinwumi Adesina (Nigeria), Sufian Ahmed (Ethiopia), Jaloul Ayed (Tunisia), Cristina Duarte (Cabo Verde), Samura Kamara (Sierra Leone),Thomas Sakala (Zimbabwe) and Birama Boubacar Sidibe (Mali).
Chadian favorite for AfDB presidency