Battle-hardened Nigerians are getting picked for top finance jobs in Africa

Akinwumi Adesina, incoming President of the African Development Bank (AfDB)

It was perhaps inevitable given its population mass, and its half-a-trillion dollar economy. The battle-hardened cadre of bankers created by Nigeria‘s decade of reform-collapse-reform is being picked for the top jobs.

Exhibit 1: The election of Akinwumi Adesina to the presidency of the African Development Bank. The outgoing agriculture minister has been feted for his agricultural reforms, and sweet-talked the French into not playing their traditional role of anglophone roadblock. The result is the first ever Nigerian in charge of Africa’s premier development finance institution – and increasingly, given the African Union’s paralysis, Africa’s loudest international megaphone on issues ranging from trade deals to climate change.

Read more: The Nigerians are coming | Columns