Friday, July 23, 2021

What empowerment is not | The New Times | Rwanda

The President of African Development Bank, AfDB, Akinwumi Adesina, has responded all the 16 but one allegations levelled against him by whistleblowers.

In Adesina’s response, as stated by Premium Times, he addressed the matter of allegedly favouring Nigerians, friends and associates with policies, appointments and contract.

He also explained, among others, the sexual harassment case against a member of staff, the awards he won, and how he donated the funds to charity.

The ethics committee of the continental bank, headed by Takuji Yano had earlier ,said in its report that Mr Adesina was not guilty on all counts.

Mr Yano is a Japanese executive director charged with the responsibility of investigating allegations by some concerned employees against the official.

However, the United States was still pressing for an independent probe into charges by whistleblowers — declared as unfounded by an internal inquiry — of alleged embezzlement and favouritism under Adesina, who is bidding for a second five-year term at the helm.

Adesina had responded, vowing to continue working and slamming the “unprecedented attempts by some to tarnish my reputation” and declared “I will… continue to work with each and every one of our shareholders.”

Meanwhile, Vanguard notes that the first allegation against Adesina by the whistleblowers within the bank is “Non-respect of internal rules and regulations in recruitment (unethical conduct, impediment to efficiency, political activity, private gain).”

Also worthy of note is that the Office of the Board of Governors of AfDB has heeded Washington’s call by approving a new investigation into the allegations against Akinwumi Adesina.

The accusations, responses

The second allegation was appointment of Mrs Chinelo Anohu-Amazu.

According to Adesina, Chinelo Anohu-Amazu was recruited through a globally-advertised, open and competitive recruitment process.

“The search process was carried out by a top notch external recruitment firm, Russell Reynolds of the UK. She was one of two top candidates (both women) recommended to me as President to consider for appointment by the panel.

“But, I can state categorically that the allegations made against her are untrue and defamatory.”

On the appointment and promotions of Mr. Martin Fregene, he said: “He is not my brother-in-law. There is no evidence he is.

Second, Mr. Fregene is a world-class geneticist, internationally renowned for his work on plant genetics of cassava, and who worked earlier at CIAT, Colombia, one of the CGIAR centres.

“He was subsequently Director at the Danforth Plant Science Centre (probably the second-largest private agricultural research centres in the United States).

“He returned from the Diaspora to Nigeria to work as Chief Technical Advisor, when I was Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria.

“He was hired as a consultant by the Bank Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Jennifer Blake, to support her in the development of the Bank’s Feed Africa strategy. I approved the recommended hire, which was entirely within my power to do.”

He added that allegations against him concerning the TAAT are belied by objective and solid facts demonstrating no violation of the Code of Conduct.

“TAAT is an initiative of the Bank developed to help take agricultural technologies to the scale of millions of farmers across Africa.

“Although some staff made some mistakes in the procurement process, this is being investigated by the Bank and no findings have been made yet. There was no impropriety.

“The president does not get involved in contractual issues in the Bank, except in cases involving matters that may affect the image, reputation and interests of the Bank.”

Concerning the appointments and promotions of Mrs Maria Mulundi, Ades…

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