Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina is the 8th President of the African Development Bank Group. He was elected for the position on May 28, 2015 by the Bank’s Board of Governors at its Annual Meeting in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
Adesina is a distinguished economist and thought leader in agriculture with nearly three decades of experience gained though research, development interventions and policy making. He served as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development from 2011 to 2015, during which time he implemented bold policy reforms in the fertilizer sector and pursued innovative agricultural investment programmes to expand opportunities for the private sector. He is credited for ending Nigeria’s 40 years of corruption in the fertilizer sector by developing and implementing an innovative electronic wallet system. He also led financing initiatives to support youth engagement in agriculture as well as small and medium enterprises.
Before assuming his Ministerial position, Adesina was the Vice President (policy and partnerships) of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. He also served as Associate Director and Regional Director for the Southern Africa Office at the Rockefeller Foundation, for over a decade until 2008. He had also served as the President of the African Association of Agricultural Economists, and a member of the editorial board of several academic journals.
Adesina got a PhD in agricultural economics from Purdue University in 1988, USA, where he won the outstanding thesis award for that year.
EBR’s Amanyehun R. SiSAY caught the President who was attending the 29th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in Addis Ababa on July 3rd to discuss about his bold initiative of lighting Africa. The following is an excerpt: