Now that African leaders have told the EU what they really think about the Economic Partnership Agreements, the battle to replace AfDB chief, Donald Kaberuka is at full throttle. And with Lamido Sanusi out of the picture, there's everything to play for.
EPA deals stall at European Union's Africa summit
Nigeria used its weight to undercut the European Union's Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) at the Brussels Africa summit in early April. In a meeting boycotted by several Southern and East African countries, West African countries said they would not open their borders further to EU products, fearing their nascent industries would be crushed. "We will not sign any agreement that will jeopardise the interest of the Nigerian economy," said Nigeria's trade minister Olusegun Aganga ahead of the summit. Ghana's president John Mahama explained: "We need to negotiate an EPA that is beneficial to our subregion and will contribute to the prosperity of our people."
AfDB presidential candidates line up for 2015 race
The competition to replace Donald Kaberuka is now entering an intensive lobbying phase. Tunis is pushing Jalloul ayed, a former finance minister. It would be "kind of a recompense for Tunisia, which is losing the bank's HQ to Abidjan", says one AfDB insider. Others growl that Southern Africa needs a turn, as a north and West African preceded Kaberuka. Meanwhile, at a Mandela Institute for Development Studies meeting in Dar es Salaam, African old-timers including former presidents opined that Nigeria has three fine candidates: capital markets boss Arunma Oteh, Finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and former central bank governor Lamido Sanusi (although as newly installed Emir of Kano, he is not likely to contend). Whether Africa's smaller states would accept South Africa running the African Union and Nigeria running the AfDB is a different matter.