Dr. Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group was awarded The World Food Prize 2017 “for helping Africa get it right in agriculture and making it a key player of securing food for the world.”
Dr Adesina was chosen for his role in “improving the availability of seed, fertilizer and financing for African farmers, and for laying the foundations for the youth in Africa to engage in agriculture as a profitable business.”
According to the World Food Prize board “through his roles over the past two decades with the Rockefeller Foundation, at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), and as Minister of Agriculture of Nigeria, Dr. Adesina has been at the forefront of galvanizing political will to transform African agriculture through initiatives to: expand agricultural production, thwart corruption in the Nigerian fertilizer industry and exponentially increase the availability of credit for smallholder farmers across the African continent.”
The award comes with a $250,000 prize to be handed over to Dr Adesinain a ceremony in Des Moines in October. Des Moines, Iowa is home to the World Food Prize Foundationfounded by Norman E. Borlaug, a native of northeast Iowa who was awarded the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize for his life’s work on feeding the world through the scientific advancements of the Green Revolution.
Adesina who is proud that his work is recognized said his inspiration is from a commitment to transform African agriculture into a means for lifting millions out of poverty.
Adesina has a strong ability to build partnerships that enable commercial banks and development organizations to provide loans to tens of thousands of farmers and agribusinesses across Africa.
As Nigeria’s minister of agriculture from 2011 to 2015, he created self-sufficiency programs in rice production and helped turn cassava into a major cash crop and a raw material for bakeries. His work as Minister also led to dramatic improvement in agricultural production and enhanced food security for 40 million people in Nigeria.
Over the course of his career, the AfDB President has earned the 2017 Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition In 2010, Person of the Year by Forbes Africa magazine in 2013 and featured among 100 most reputable persons on earth in a list released by South Africa-based Reputation Poll early this month.
In choosing Adesina for this year’s award, the organization recognizes his endeavors at the Bank Group to implement the ambitious High 5 priorities (Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa).