Can Trump's U S Stop Africans From Being African?

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin rejected plans by the African Development Bank’s board to end an investigation into its president, Akinwumi Adesina, and called for an independent probe into allegations against him. In a letter dated May 22 and addressed to Niale Kaba, chairwoman of the bank’s board of governors, Mnuchin said the Treasury disagrees with findings by the bank’s ethics committee that “totally exonerated” Adesina. Kaba confirmed receipt of the document and declined further comment.

The intervention by the Treasury, the AfDB’s biggest non-African shareholder, comes two weeks after the ethics committee found no evidence to support allegations of favoritism by Adesina.

The 60-year-old bank chief, who has repeatedly refuted the allegations, is the only candidate up for election as president at an annual general meeting scheduled for August. Adesina was accused by a group of unidentified whistleblowers of handing contracts to acquaintances and appointing relatives to strategic positions at the Abidjan-based lender.

“We have deep reservations about the integrity of the committee’s process,” Mnuchin said.
“Instead, we urge you to initiate an in-depth investigation of the allegations using the services of an independent outside investigator of high professional standing…Considering the scope, seriousness, and detail of these allegations against the sole candidate for bank leadership over the next five years, we believe that further inquiry is necessary to ensure that the AfDB’s president has broad support, confidence, and a clear mandate from shareholders,”
Mnuchin said.

The U.S. has a 6.5% stake in the lender, the largest shareholding after Adesina’s home country of Nigeria as of November 2019, according to the AfDB’s website.
U.S. criticism of the bank’s internal processes follows comments by World Bank President David Malpass in February that multilateral lenders including the AfDB tend to provide loans too quickly, and, in the process, add to African nations’ debt problems. The bank rebutted the statements as “inaccurate and not fact-based.”

The AfDB is Africa’s biggest multilateral lender and has an AAA rating from Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings. Its shareholders are Africa’s 54 nations and 27 countries in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia.

In March, the lender issued a $3 billion social bond to help African countries deal with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Bids for the securities on the London money market exceeded $4.6 billion. The bank also launched a $10 billion crisis-response facility for African nations.

— With assistance by Leanne de Bassompierre, and Yinka Ibukun (Adds U.S. shareholding in second paragraph below Clear Mandate subheadline.)

Inside Report:

ut what is Mr Adesina, Nigeria’s former agriculture minister, accused of? And how was he cleared?
On April 26, the Ethics Committee AfDB led by Takuji Yano, a Japanese, released an eight-page report on a January 19 complaint received from some members of staff of the organisation who described themselves as a Group of Indignant Staff Members, against Mr Adesina.
The document exonerated Mr Adesina and concluded that the petition received from the whistleblowers “was not based on any objective and solid fact”.
The committee explained that it reached the conclusion “with the help of information verbally communicated to the committee by the director of the Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption (PIAC) and by the bank’s auditor general during committee meetings held on 26 March and 2 April 2020”.

The committee chairman said the whistleblowers did not provide any supporting proof of their allegations and added that when they were asked to do so they declined, arguing that doing so would compromise their anonymity.
President Muhammadu Buhari welcomed the ethics committee’s report clearing Mr Adesina.
The whistleblowers, however, argued the ethics committee sat on their complaint for six weeks and did nothing about it.
They alleged that instead of investigating the allegation, attempts were made to uncover their identities. They said not until they decided to share their complaint with a wider audience that the ethics committee decided to do anything about their petition.
They further accused some staff members close to Mr Adesina of actively working to sabotage the duties of the Ethics Committee. They said that part of the attempt included a counter-complaint filed against Steven Dowd and executive director from the United States “for allegedly colluding with the whistle-blowers (us). The complaint comes from a group claiming to be dissidents from our own group, which can be easily proven to be a false claim.”
They also accused Mr Adesina of deliberately vetoing a meeting of the Ethics Committee using social distancing as an excuse. Lastly, they accused a vice president of the bank, Jennifer Blanke, of intimidating the chairman of the Ethics committee by filing a complaint that he allegedly verbally abused one of her staff members suggesting that it may have forced him to baulk at thoroughly investigating their complaint.