The Management and staff of the African Development Bank have paid glowing tributes to Mr. Babacar Ndiaye, fifth elected President of the Bank who passed away in Dakar, Senegal on Thursday, aged 85.
“Africa has lost one of its best sons. Mr. Ndiaye was a consummate professional who worked assiduously to position the African Development Bank’s work in Africa,” Current AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina, said in a message to Board members and staff.
Staff joined Adesina’s call to observe a minute of silence at 13H00 on Friday in honor of the departed who was President of the Bank from 1985 to 1995. The Board also opened its session on Friday with a minute’s silence in reverence to the eminent Senegalese finance expert.
“He was an outstanding President who contributed immensely to the growth of Africa and created the deep footprint for the Bank in Africa. He was such a great and wonderful father figure to me and many of the Bank staff.
“He loved the Bank so much and was always present at the Annual Meetings of the Bank, without fail, always encouraging me to push the High 5s for which he was so proud. He was recently with us at the Annual Meetings in Ahmedabad in May. Until his death, he was an honorary President of the African Development Bank, a testament to his enduring legacy at the Bank,” Adesina said.
Adesina said he spoke with Mr. Ndiaye’s family and doctor yesterday soon after his demise. He expressed his condolences to the bereaved family and prayed that God will comfort them at this time.
A high level Bank delegation to be led by Senior Vice President Charles Boamah, and including Vice Presidents Alberic Kacou, Amadou Hott, acting Vice President Hassatou N’Sele and Sipho Moyo, Director Special Duties, will attend Ndiaye’s obsequies in Dakar on Saturday.
Recruited in 1965 among the first batch of AfDB professional cadres, the former President moved up the ladder to head the department of Finance. He was later promoted to Vice-President in charge of Finance before his election as AfDB President. He was re-elected in 1990 for a second term which ended in 1995.
‘The African Road Builders’ prize, named after him was instituted by ACTUROUTES or the Road Information Authority in Cote d’Ivoire. The second edition of the award ceremony of the African Road Builders Award, with the Babacar Ndiaye Trophy, took place during the 52nd Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group held in his presence on 23 May 2017 in Ahmedabad, India.
Mr. Ndiaye supported the establishment of a host of African institutions such Africa Export Import Bank and Shelter Afrique, among others. He is also known to have enabled the Bank earn its triple’ ‘A’ rating which it has maintained to date.