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.