Few things can temper enjoyment of a good party quite like the promise of an early start the next morning. But that was the reality facing the African Development Bank’s new president-elect Akinwumi Adesina.
Fresh from the celebrations sparked by his win at the bank’s leadership election in Abidjan last night, Nigeria’s golden boy was boarding an early morning plane to Abuja for the inauguration of his soon-to-be ex-boss, President Muhammadu Buhari.
It is doubtful that Adesina will have rued the early call too much, even assuming the celebrations extended late into the night among the Nigerian delegation, which also featured Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Adesina is used to shuttlebus diplomacy after months of hard campaigning for the presidency of the AfDB. And in Abuja he might bump into another practitioner of that art: US Secretary of State John Kerry.
All of Adesina’s networking and lobbying paid off in spectacular style last night after the minister of rural affairs and agriculture took home 60% of the total vote, delivering a crushing victory over closest rivals Cristina Duarte and Kordjé Bedoumra.
The beginning of Adesina’s victory speech – unannounced in the media centre – sparked a headlong rush of the press pack to the cavernous Palais des Congrès via the hotel’s smart lobby.
But for all the journalists and observers who missed Adesina’s gracious victory speech, fear not. Rumours suggest the minister is to catch a flight back to Abidjan later today.
Nobody said that leading a continent wide-institution would be a desk-bound job.