BizNis Africa 2017 Newsmaker: Akinwumi Adesina


Akinwumi Adesina is the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Adesina is the former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in Nigeria, where he is spearheading projects to transform the country’s agriculture sector.

Akinwumi Adesina is a distinguished agricultural development expert with over 24 years of experience in developing and managing successful agricultural programmes across Africa.

Adesina graduated with Bachelors in Agricultural Economics with First Class Honors from the University of Ife, Nigeria IN 1981, where he was the first student to be awarded this distinction by the university.

He obtained his PhD (Agricultural Economics) in 1988 from Purdue University, USA where he won the Outstanding PhD Thesis for his research work.

Previously he was the Vice President (Policy & Partnerships) for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

Adesina has held senior leadership positions in some of the foremost agricultural institutions in the world.

He was Principal Economist and Social Science Coordinator for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture from 1995 to 1998, Principal Economist and Coordinator of the West Africa Rice Economics Task Force at the West Africa Rice Development Association from 1990 to 1995 and Assistant Principal Economist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics.

Adesina was Associate Director for Food Security at the Rockefeller Foundation where he worked for a decade from 1998 to 2008 in senior leadership positions, including as Regional Office Director and Representative for Southern Africa.

Adesina was the President of the African Association of Agricultural Economists from 2008 to 2010.

He has received several global awards for his leadership and work in agriculture.

In 2007 he was awarded the prestigious YARA Prize in Oslo, Norway for his leadership in pioneering innovative approaches for improving access of farmers in Africa to agricultural inputs.

He was awarded the Borlaug CAST Award in 2010 by the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, USA, for his global leadership on agricultural science and technology.

He received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Purdue University in 2008 and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Obafemi Awolowo University in 2009.

He was awarded Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Franklin and Marshall College, US, in 2010, for his global leadership on agriculture and improving the lives and livelihoods of the poor.

Adesina was appointed by the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon as one of the 17 global leaders to spearhead the Millennium Development Goals.

The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, conferred on him the second highest National Honor (Commander of the Order of Niger) for his outstanding service.

In November 2012, Adesina was named as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans by The New African Magazine.


About Author

Bontle Moeng is the Founder and Managing Director of BizNis Africa. Moeng has spent 16 years working in the digital and online media industry across Africa. She applied her trade at True Love magazine prior to discovering her passion for Investment news in key sectors across Africa. Moeng previously worked for ITWeb, Starfish Mobile Technologies, ITNewsAfrica, AVATAR Agency, eNitiate, Global Interface Consulting and Havas Johannesburg. Her primary focus is to provide solid and valuable content on investment opportunities for the ICT, Energy and Mining sectors across Africa. In addition, the online news publication assists global companies to expand their presence in Africa. Email:

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