US pressure leads to new probe of African Development Bank boss

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The new president of the African Development Bank Akinwumi Adesina smiles in Abidjan following his election at the AfDB annual meetings. (Sia Kambou, AFP)
The new president of the African Development Bank Akinwumi Adesina smiles in Abidjan following his election at the AfDB annual meetings. (Sia Kambou, AFP)

The African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) board agreed to an independent investigation of its president, Akinwumi Adesina, after US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin rejected an internal investigation that cleared him of allegations of favouritism, according to two people familiar with deliberations on the matter.

Africa’s largest multilateral lender decided on the inquiry after several foreign governments backed Mnuchin’s criticism of a bank-led examination into the allegations, the people said, asking not to be identified because details aren’t public.

Adesina, who has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, may have to step back from the role until the probe is completed, they said.

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