Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Andrew Green curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent.
The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, was set to sail through his August reelection and secure a second term running the multilateral lender. Now his future is less clear after the United States—the institution’s second-largest shareholder—rejected the findings of an inquiry that exonerated Adesina of allegations of corruption and favoritism. The bank’s Board of Governors has now agreed to launch its own independent investigation.
Beyond raising questions about Adesina’s future, the new investigation creates turmoil at a time when the African Development Bank was expected to help guide the continent’s economic recovery from COVID-19. It launched a $10 billion emergency response in April to help countries weather the pandemic. If the fallout with Washington worsens, observers warn it could destabilize Africa’s only major multilateral development bank, which has emerged as a homegrown counterweight to Western- and Chinese-funded initiatives on the continent.