Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has 30 years of worldwide experience as a development economist and agricultural development expert.
In 1981, he received a Bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics with First Class Honours from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) in Nigeria. He was the first student in the University’s history to receive a First Class Honours degree in Agricultural Economics. He earned a master’s degree (1985) and a doctorate in agricultural economics (1988) from Purdue University in the United States, where he received the Outstanding PhD thesis prize that year. In 1988, he was awarded the coveted Rockefeller Foundation Social Science Fellowship, which began his worldwide career.
Dr. Adesina, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture from 2011 to 2015, was a daring reformer who turned the country’s agriculture industry around in four years. During his tenure, Nigeria eradicated 40 years of corruption in the fertiliser business by designing and deploying an innovative electronic wallet system that uses mobile phones to directly offer farmers with subsidized agriculture inputs at scale. This electronic wallet system touched 15 million farmers in the first four years of its inception, radically changing their lives. The electronic wallet technology has now gone worldwide, with implementation underway in Afghanistan and numerous African nations.
Dr. Adesina, a fervent believer in private-sector-led growth, transformed Nigeria’s perspective of agriculture from subsistence to a viable enterprise that successfully attracted $5.6 billion in private-sector investment. He also oversaw funding efforts to encourage youth participation in agriculture and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Ultimately, under his leadership, Nigeria’s food output increased by 21 million metric tons.
Dr. Adesina was the Vice President (Policy and Partnerships) of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) prior to his nomination as Minister of Agriculture, where he oversaw numerous ambitious and creative policy and financial initiatives.
activities that generated more than $ 4 billion in bank credit pledges to Africa’s agriculture sector Dr. Adesina successfully spearheaded one of the greatest worldwide efforts to leverage domestic bank credit for the agricultural sector, working with African Heads of State and Ministers of Finance, leaders in the commercial banking industry, and Central Bank Governors from numerous African nations.
Dr. Adesina, a skilled and very successful strategic relationship builder, has worked effectively across numerous sectors of the economy to bring millions of people out of poverty. Before joining AGRA in 2008, he was the Rockefeller Foundation’s Associate Director and Regional Director for the Southern Africa Office for almost a decade. He created initiatives at the Rockefeller Foundation to develop markets for African farmers, philanthropy for African corporate leaders, and enhanced access to education. He was also a member of the Forum for African Women Educationalists’ Technical Board (FAWE).
Dr. Adesina worked as the West Africa Rice Development Association’s Principal Economist (1990-1995), the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture’s Senior Economist and Social Science Coordinator (1995-1998), and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics’ Assistant Principal Economist (1998-2002). (1988-1990).
Dr. Adesina is a prolific writer who has written over 70 scholarly works on policy, agricultural development, and African development concerns. He is a well-known economist who has served as President of the African Association of Agricultural Economists and as a member of the Editorial Boards of numerous academic journals, including the International Journal of Agricultural Economists. The American Association of Agricultural Economists honored him with the Outstanding Black Agricultural Economist Award. He was a Cornell University Distinguished Africanist Scholar.
Awards By Dr. Akinwumi Adesina :
Dr. Adesina received the renowned YARA Prize in Oslo, Norway, in 2007 for his leadership in pioneering novel techniques to increase agricultural input availability for African farmers.
In 2008, he got the Distinguished Alumni Award from Purdue University in the United States. From Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria, he won the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2009 and the Grand Commander of Great Ife in 2013.
The Council for Agricultural Research and Technology, USA, honored him with the Borlaug CAST Communications Award in 2010 for his global leadership in agricultural science and technology.
Dr. Adesina was given an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Franklin & Marshall College in the United States in May 2011 for his creative innovations and global leadership in improving the lives and livelihoods of the disadvantaged.
Purdue University, USA, granted him an Honorary Doctorate of Agriculture in November 2014 for his application of economic ideas and the power of markets to public policy, which resulted in improved lifestyles for millions of Nigerian rural households as a result of his agricultural reforms.
Dr. Adesina received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Adekunle Ajasin University in Nigeria in December 2015.
In the same year, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science by Nigeria’s Obafemi Awolowo University.
Dr. Adesina got an Honorary Doctorate of Management from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, in March 2017.
In October 2017, Purdue University, USA bestowed the Order of the Griffin on Dr. Adesina, a rare honor bestowed only on 50 people since 1893, including Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon.
Dr. Adesina received an Honorary Doctorate of Agriculture from Michigan State University in the United States in May 2018.
Dr. Adesina was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Management Science by the Nigerian National Defence Academy in October 2018.
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina was given an Honorary Doctor of Letters by Afe Babalola University in Nigeria in October 2018.
Dr. Adesina received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Alberta in Canada in June 2019.
Bowen University in Nigeria bestowed an Honorary Doctorate of Entrepreneurship to Dr. Adesina in November 2019.
Dr. Adesina is an internationally recognized leader. Dr. Adesina was named by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in 2010 as one of 17 world leaders to catalyze international support for the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina was named one of 23 global leaders to help eradicate hunger and malnutrition by United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres in 2019. He also serves as a Commissioner for the Global Climate Commission, which is co-chaired by Bill Gates and former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to address global climate change. In addition, Dr. Adesina is a member of the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition.
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina was named Forbes Africa Person of the Year in 2013 for his innovative agricultural reforms in Nigeria. He is Africa’s first public-sector minister to get the prize.
Dr. Adesina was named the 2013 Public Servant of the Year by Nigeria’s prominent Leadership Newspaper for his daring policy innovations, openness, and public accountability.
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina received the Extra-Ordinary Achievement Award from Silverbird Television in Nigeria for his outstanding performance and achievements as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture.
Nations throughout the world have continued to honor Dr. Adesina’s achievements. Dr. Adesina was awarded the Commander of the Order of the Niger, Nigeria’s second highest national honor, in 2012, for his great contribution to his country. He received the highest national distinctions from Senegal, Cameroon, Madagascar, Togo, Liberia, and Niger in appreciation of his remarkable leadership, enthusiasm, and devotion to driving African development.
The World Food Prize Foundation awarded Dr. Akinwumi Adesina the World Food Prize, sometimes known as the “Nobel Prize for Agriculture,” in October 2017. Dr. Adesina used his $250,000 Laureates prize to establish the World Hunger Fighters Foundation, which would help young people become involved in agriculture and produce a new generation of world hunger fighters.
In December 2017, Bill Gates named Dr. Adesina’s World Food Prize win and gesture to utilize it to help African children as one of the seven most promising events of 2017. Dr. Adesina was named one of the top 15 worldwide leaders of multilateral development organizations in December 2017.
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina was given the renowned Sunhak Peace Prize in February 2019 in Seoul, South Korea for his worldwide leadership in agriculture, food security, transparency, and good governance. He gave his $500,000 award reward to the World Hunger Fighters Foundation, which he founded to combat world hunger.
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina was named one of the world’s most respectable persons by the top reputation management business, Reputation Poll International, in April 2019.
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina was awarded the Emeka Anyaoku Lifetime Achievement Award of “Outstanding International Icon” by the Hallmarks of Labour Foundation in October 2019, with Chief Anyaoku, the former Commonwealth Secretary General, describing Dr. Adesina’s work and leadership as “legendary, unprecedented, and worthy of emulation.”
On October 31, 2019, Dr. Adesina led the African Development Bank to its greatest capital increase since its inception in 1964, when shareholders from 80 member countries increased the bank’s general capital by 125%. This expanded the Bank’s capital by $115 billion, from $93 billion to $208 billion, marking a watershed moment for Africa.
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina was chosen African of the Year by the All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLATM) on December 6, 2019, in celebration of his courageous leadership and the invention of the Africa Investment Forum, which opened the door to billions of dollars of investment into the continent. He was named the 2019 Forbes Africa Person of the Year.
Dr. Adesina and his wife, Grace, have two sons, Rotimi and Segun, as well as a granddaughter named Noemi.