Akinwumi Adesina: AfDB invested $96 million in higher education

Embattled President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has survived a second round of investigation into his conduct, giving him a boost in his re-election bid next month.

The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, said the bank has invested $96 million in its Higher Education and Science and Technology (HEST) Project.

The AfDB president disclosed this while delivering his acceptance speech after receiving the Honorary Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) conferred on him by the Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.

The award was in recognition of his contributions to science, research and academic leadership; reforms and thought leadership as well as significant contributions to Africa’s social and economic development.

The HEST project focused on three major areas: supporting centers of excellence; ensuring infrastructure and training in specific areas – agriculture and livestock

Other areas of focus include, health sciences and health delivery support services, engineering, business enterprise, training teachers and educational management – and strengthening links with the labour market so that trained students can use their knowledge and skills productively.

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He said the bank had also supported the construction of modern diagnostic laboratory equipment, a biotechnology laboratory worth a $1 million, a Geographic Information Systems laboratory and a computer laboratory.

According to him: “The African Development Bank is proud to have invested $96 million in the Higher Education and Science and Technology (HEST) project which ended in 2019.

“Our support of $26 million to Makerere University helped to construct two central teaching facilities, a four-story building with fully equipped lecture and seminar rooms and a five-story building with an auditorium with capacity for 1,000 seats at a time.

He said for Africa to make significant progress, there should be equal opportunities for both men and women, adding that, “No bird flies with one wing. Africa will progress faster when there is equality between men and women”.

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Also addressing the congregation, the Chancellor, Makerere University, Prof. Ezra Suruma, commended the AfDB president for his excellent leadership in piloting the affairs of the financial institution.

Suruma said:“We thank Dr. Adesina for the excellent work he is doing to uplift the African people and for honoring us with his presence today.

“As the African countries struggle to overcome the huge negative effects of COVID-19, I am sure that they will find a vital and sympathetic ally in the African Development Bank”.

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