Cote d'Ivoire: AfDB President, Adesina, wins 2017 World Food Prize

Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) - For helping Africa get it right in agriculture and making it a key player of securing food for the world, the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has been awarded "The World Food Prize 2017".

The media channel of the AfDB reported “Through his roles over the past two decades with the Rockefeller Foundation, at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), and as Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria, Dr. Adesina has been at the forefront of galvanizing political will to transform African agriculture through initiatives to: expand agricultural production, thwart corruption in the Nigerian fertilizer industry and exponentially increase the availability of credit for smallholder farmers across the African continent.”

It said that the The World Food Prize board chose Adesina this year for the US$250,000 prize, highlighting his role in improving the availability of seed, fertilizer and financing for African farmers, and for laying the foundations for the youth in Africa to engage in agriculture as a profitable business."

It said that the official announcement of the award was made during a ceremony on Monday at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington D.C., hosted by its Secretary, Sonny Perdue. “Adesina will receive the US$250,000 award administered by the Des Moines-based World Food Prize Foundation at a ceremony at the state Capitol in October,” Purdue  said.

The prize was founded by Norman E. Borlaug, a native of northeast Iowa in the US who was awarded the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize for his life’s work on feeding the world through the scientific advancements of the Green Revolution.

Perdue commended Adesina for his tireless work in securing food for Africa and the world, but pointed out that there were still huge challenges on the way as the world population grows raising the challenge of feeding 9 billion people.

“Adesina knows that our work is not done,” he said.

Speaking at the event, which brought together key players in the world of bilateral and multilateral development, Adesina said he was inspired by a commitment to transform African agriculture into a means for lifting millions out of poverty and is proud his work has been recognized. “It's vitally important to show young people in rural regions of Africa that farming can be profitable and can improve their lives…”

In choosing Adesina for this year’s award, the organization recognizes his endeavours at the Bank Group to implement the ambitious High 5 priorities (Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialise Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa), and the positive impact this would have in Africa and the world.

Adesina’s forte is his strong ability to build partnerships that enabled commercial banks and development organizations to provide loans to tens of thousands of farmers and agribusinesses in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana and Mozambique.

As Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture from 2011 to 2015, Adesina made his mark by creating programs to make the country self-sufficient in rice production and helped turn cassava into a major cash crop and a strategic raw material for Bakeries.

Above all, Adesina’s success in enabling Nigeria’s farmers increase farm yields through an electronic wallet system that helped them obtain fertilizers, led to dramatic improvement in agricultural production and enhanced food security for 40 million people in the country’s rural farm households.

Commenting on the award, African Development Bank’s Chief Regional Programme Officer for Eastern Africa, Laté Dodji Lawson Zankli, said: “I am glad our President is recognized worldwide as a man of value. He has plenty of wisdom to share. By being a man of value, he has become a man of success. He is an inspiration to many young Africans.”

The World Food Prize 2017 award adds to a long list of global laurels the AfDB President has earned in the course of his distinguished career. Two weeks ago, he received the 2017 Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition In 2010, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed him one of 17 global leaders to spearhead the Millennium Development Goals, along with Bill Gates, the Spanish Prime Minister and the President of Rwanda.

He was named Person of the Year by Forbes Africa magazine in 2013 and featured among 100 most reputable persons on earth in a list released by South Africa-based Reputation Poll early this month.
-0- PANA VAO 28June2017

28 Junho 2017 13:11:14

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