Outgoing Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has become the President of the African Development Bank (AFDB).
Adesina, 55, will succeed Rwandan Donald Kaberuka, chief for two consecutive terms since 2005, at a time when the institution is trying to diversify from its traditional role as a development bank.
He was elected with 58.10 percent after six rounds of voting, beating the finance ministers of Chad and Cape Verde to the role.
A total of 80 AfDB shareholders — 54 African states and 26 non-African countries — took part in the election in Abidjan, in which eight candidates were vying for the presidency.
Adesina inherits a financially sound institution, which was awarded a prestigious AAA rating by US ratings agency Fitch in 2013 — a year in which it lent a total of $6.8 billion for 317 operations.
Adesina was voted African of the year in 2013 by Forbes magazine for his agricultural reforms, and he represents a country considered to be the new economic powerhouse of Africa.
He earned a first-class honours degree in agricultural economics from University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) and a doctorate in the same subject at Purdue in the US midwest in 1988.
Before becoming a minister in 2011, he worked for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa and held senior positions in agricultural bodies around the world.