The United States of America has lauded the management of the African Development Bank (AfDB) for its achievements.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expressed the country’s assurance during the Bank’s Annual General Meeting on Wednesday.
The secretary in May had called for an independent probe of AfDB’s President, Akinwumi Adesina, despite the Bank’s Ethics Committee clearing him of allegations.
Mnuchin in a letter rejected the decision to “totally exonerate” Adesina.
However, in the statement delivered yesterday from Washington DC, the US capital, Mnuchin expressed confidence in the Bank.
He said, “The African Development Bank’s potential to drive meaningful improvements in the lives of Africans is more relevant than ever.
“As the pandemic creates particular challenges for the poorest nations, the African Development Bank and African Development Fund are essential sources of support.
“We appreciate the frank assessment Management has provided of its progress towards meeting the reform commitments under the Seventh General Capital Increase.
“In particular, we commend Management for attention to the steps needed to meet the end-of-year deadline for an updated financial sustainability model so that the AfDB maintains capital adequacy ratios above their thresholds for at least ten years.”
The treasury secretary, however, submitted that more work remained to be done.
He added, “We urge a serious analytical effort this year to understand how the Bank will be more selective and cost-effective in its operations.
“The Bank must do more to manage its resources more wisely and ensure through the Total Compensation Review that it offers a competitive and cost-effective value proposition to staff.
“The independent oversight functions of the AfDB—including integrity, evaluation, and audit—must be given the resources and necessary freedom to operate effectively.
“The AfDB’s ethics and governance framework must also be updated to bring it up to the standards of its peers.”
Mnuchin assured that the US would continue to work in partnership to deliver on the potential of the AfDB, and also support African countries in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and advancing their development goals.
“We hope the day will come soon when we can return to conducting business normally,” he said.