Treasury minister Njuguna Ndung’u to head AfDB board

Njuguna Ndung'u, Hassan Abdalla, Akinwumi Adesina

Kenya's Treasury minister Njuguna Ndung'u (left) with Egypt's Central Bank Governor Hassan Abdalla and AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina during the chairmanship handover ceremony in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, on May 26, 2023. PHOTO  | AfDB

Kenya’s Prof Njuguna Ndung’u has taken over the chairmanship of the African Development Bank (AfDB) board of governors, succeeding Egyptian Hassan Abdalla.

Prof Ndung’u, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Treasury and National Planning, will lead the multilateral lender’s board for a term of one year, during which he will host the annual general meeting in Nairobi slated for May next year.

The former Central Bank of Kenya governor took over the helm at a ceremony in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, on Friday.

The chair of AfDB, which lends exclusively to African countries, rotates between member states of Africa’s premier development financier. The board constitutes a governor and an alternate governor appointed by each member country and who exercise voting powers proportional to the shareholding of their country.

In his acceptance speech, Prof Ndung’u said Nairobi would support the AfDB’s quest to expand access to finance, especially as alternative sources of funding dry up globally.

“The need for quality infrastructure to attract private investments in our countries is putting pressure on financing requirements in the already tight budgets, hence the need to be innovative in ways of resource mobilisation to finance infrastructure development and enhance the profitability of private investment.

“The role of the development institutions is crucial in pooling and mobilising the required resources for mitigating the adverse effects of the geopolitical tensions, Covid-19 pandemic, food security and climate change,” he said.

African member states hold 60 percent of the AfDB, with United States, Japan and India, among others owning the remaining 40 percent stake. Nigeria is the biggest shareholder with about 10 percent.

The more the stake, the more ballot papers a country gets in the vote.

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