When you meet an achiever who has the passion to do more, you should look into their backgrounds in order to know how and why they are driven.
Please read below the brief biography of the incoming AfDB President, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina. He is a distinguished agricultural development expert with 24 years of experience in developing and managing successful agricultural programmes across Africa.
He graduated with Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics with First Class Honours from the University of Ife, Nigeria (1981), where he was the first student to be awarded this distinction by the University. He obtained his PhD degree in Agricultural Economics in 1988 from Purdue University, USA, where he won the Outstanding Ph.D Thesis for his research work.
Until his appointment as the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in 2011, he was the Vice President, Policy and Partnerships Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). Dr. Adesina has held senior leadership positions in some of the foremost agricultural institutions in the world.
He was Principal Economist and Social Science Coordinator for the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan (1995-1998); Principal Economist and Coordinator of the West Africa Rice Economics Task Force at the West Africa Rice Development Association (1990-1995); and Assistant Principal Economist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics. He was Associate Director, Food Security at the Rockefeller Foundation where he was in senior leadership positions from 1998- 2008; Regional Office Director and Representative for Southern Africa.
He has published extensively and served on Editorial Boards of several leading journals. He was the President of the African Association of Agricultural Economists from 2008-2010. He has received several international awards for his work and leadership in agriculture.
In 2007, he was awarded the prestigious YARA Prize in Oslo, Norway, for his leadership in pioneering innovative approaches for improving farmers’ access to agricultural inputs in Africa. He was awarded the Borlaug CAST Award in 2010 by the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, USA, for his global leadership in agricultural science and technology. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Purdue University in 2008 and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Obafemi Awolowo University, in 2009. He was awarded Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Franklin and Marshall College, USA, in 2010 for his global leadership on agriculture and improving the lives and livelihoods of the poor.
He was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon as one of the 17 global leaders to spearhead the Millennium Development Goals. His passion is to use agriculture to end hunger, create wealth and jobs and drive equitable economic growth in Africa to lift millions out of poverty. He has brought that passion to his native home Nigeria, in his present position as the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, where he is already spearheading major reforms to transform Nigerian agriculture.