Celebrating Akinwumi Adesina

by Duke Magazine

AKINWUMI ADESINA Adesina was born in Ibadan, Oyo State (Southwest Nigeria) to a farmer on the 6th February, 1960. He had his basic education in a village school, before proceeding to the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University in 1981. He bagged a First Class Honours in Agricultural Economics, and was the first student to earn this distinction award by the university. Adesina furthered his academic pursuit at Purdue University in Indiana, and at where he subsequently obtained his PhD (Agricultural Economics) in 1988. Here, Adesina’s research work won the outstanding PhD Thesis. In 1984, Adesina got married to his beloved wife Grace Adesina, and the union was blessed with two children. Between 1990 and 1995, Adesina worked in the capacity of a Senior Economist at West African Rice Development Association (WARDA) in Bouaké, Ivory Coast.

He thereafter worked as the representative of the Foundation for the Southern African area from 1999 to 2003. Adesina rose to the position of an Associate Director for Food Security between 2003 and 2008. In 2010, Adesina was appointed as the honorable minister for Agriculture in Nigeria by the erstwhile president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Adesina’s huge reformation to the Agriculture sector then named him as Forbes African man of the year.

Also in 2010, the then United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon appointed him amongst the 17 global leaders that would plan and execute the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Adesina emerged as the presumptive president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) on the 28th of May, 2015. He assumed this office as the 8th president of the organization, and as the first Nigerian to reach that peak post. He was the brain behind the reorganization of the five structures put in place for a better Africa.

These are Energy, Agriculture, Industrialization, Regional Integration, and Bettering Africans’ lives. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon later appointed Adesina in 2016 to serve as a member of the Lead Group of the Scaling up Nutrition Movement. Adesina has had innumerable recognition and honours to his carts in Nigeria, African countries, and globally.

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