Monday, August 31 is the last full day in office for Donald Kaberuka, who steps down after 10 years as President of the African Development Bank.
Speaking to Bank staff on Friday, Kaberuka said, “I was optimistic then, and I’m optimistic now: I leave the Bank as confident as ever about where Africa is heading. Presidents come and go, but the Bank stays. Africa needs a strong AfDB – and we have an AfDB that gets stronger by the day.
“In all of our challenges, we have always been sure of the cause we were fighting for – the economic transformation of this continent. I’ve fought the fight, finished the race, and kept the faith. Whatever I do now, I know that it will be about Africa, for Africa, and most likely in Africa.”
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Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, spoke at the same event. “We bid our brother Donald farewell from the Bank, but not from the continent. I thank him for his wisdom, support, encouragement. I thank him for being who he is – in loving and respecting himself first, so he could love and respect his colleagues and the people of this continent.”
Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, also addressed the gathering. “What this continent needs is leadership and determination. Leadership and determination: that’s what Donald is all about. Are we African lions? Lions are lazy! Cheetahs are the fastest animals on the planet – when they go for something, they are 100% sure that they want it. I know a man who is a cheetah: Donald Kaberuka.”
Donald Kaberuka’s successor, Akinwumi Adesina, the former Nigerian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, will be sworn in on September 1.