Akinwunmi Adesina wins World Food Prize in Quest to feed a Continent

Akinwunmi Adesina, a former minister of Agriculture under former President Goodluck Jonathan, who was announced in June, 2017 as the Nobel Prize Laureate for the World Food Prize for his amazing Quest to equip the youths of Africa with the tools, financing and structures necessary to feed a continent and create a livelihood for exports to other continents, is set to accept his prize and deliver a keynote Speech at the World Food Prize Week in Des Moines, Iowa, United States of America.

The World Food Prize was founded  by Nobel Prize winner Norman Borlaug and is considered the foremost international honor recognizing the achievement of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the Quantity, Quality or availability of food in the world.

Akinwunmi Adesina who delivered the Norman Borlaug lecture “Betting on Africa to feed the World” on the 16th October, 2017 was presented with the Award on the 19th October, 2017. Adesina’s leadership is being recognized for accelerating agricultural development through its feed Africa strategy with planned investments of $24bn over a 10 year period. The prize also notes his work with the Rockefeller Foundation over the last decade, the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa and as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development

For example, In November 2015, shortly after being confirmed for the Position succeeding Donald Kaberuka, AfDB partnered with Togolese Government to introduce the E-Wallet system for farmers who now based on the success of its pilot programme, employs 70% of the rural population, contributing 39% of the Nation’s entire gross domestic product. AgriPME as its popularly known amongst farmers in Lome and surrounding areas was developed by close cooperation of AfDB office in Togo (TBGO), Agriculture & Agro-Industries Department (OSAN), Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development, the private company that developed technology for e-wallet system, and collaboration with Togo Cellulaire & Moov.

Critics of the AfDB in the past have often sighted the high handedness and focus of financing and guarantees to only blue chip countries. With the current mandate of his leadership shifting to development financing, growing the 80% of the population that lifts the continent out of poverty, the world is watching and hoping AfDB can be a beacon of hope.

Kelvin Emmanuel

About Kelvin Emmanuel

The Oil producing Angola in the Southern part of Africa faces what Nigeria faced 12months ago; a distortion in its exchange rate with a difference between the official markets and the parallel black markets. One dollar through the official window buys you 166 kwanza, while one dollar through the black market buys you 400 kwanza. Nigeria faced the same challenge 12months ago, when the distortion between the official and black markets was as much as the official markets trading at 306 with the parallel market ranging from 450 through to 510. The Central Bank Governor of Angola, Jose de Massano Junior announced in Luanda “We will stop having a fixed foreign exchange, we will adopt a floating regime of foreign exchange”. Angola faces exactly the same challenges and has been applying the exact same responses to an exchange rate crisis like using its foreign reserves that was sitting at $26bn to defend the currency kwanza, with no success so far, even though the external reserves has dropped to $14bn. Angola relies on Oil receipts for 80% of its government revenue, 90% of its inflow and 50% of its GDP. Angola is a $194bn economy that has been growing at an average of 10% on the back of rising oil prices since 2002 when its 27 year old civil war that started in 1975 ended. The state national oil company Sonangol reports that it produces up to 1.8m barrels of crude oil daily, however the government that until now has being led by the family dynasty Jose Eduardo dos Santos until recently when succession saw power transferred to Joao Lourenco, reports that the oil price rout in 2015/2016 that saw prices drop to as low as $28 per barrel caused ripples across the economic structures of the government, upsetting government revenues, its ability to fund its budget, capital project funding, foreign direct investments into the economy as a result of a currency crisis that was driven by the widening of gap between the official and street window of the kwanza, that until now has been pegged in a fixed exchange rate regime to the US Dollar.