AfDB president, Adesina, emerges the winner of the prestigious world food prize award
Africans are excellently standing out amongst other continents of the world. Recently, the President of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) and Nigeria’s former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina emerged the winner of the prestigious World Food Prize, 2017 award. This no doubt is a confirmation that Africans are working hard towards excellence.
It has been reported that the award was announced on Monday in Washington D.C. by the World Food Prize Foundation. This foundation gave a standout recognition to Adesina’s achievements in the agriculture sector and also for driving change in African agriculture for over 25 years. He was also appreciated for improving food security for millions of people which consequentially have saved lives.
In addition, the foundation said in a statement that Adesina stood out in efforts to make food available to Africans therefore, reducing hunger in many states:
“Awarded by the World Food Prize Foundation, the $250,000 prize honors Nigerian Dr. Adesina for his leading role over the past two decades in: significantly expanding food production in Nigeria; introducing initiatives to exponentially increase the availability of credit for smallholder farmers across the African continent; and galvanising the political will to transform African agriculture.”
The statement further stated:
“The selection of President Akinwumi Adesina as the 2017 World Food Prize Laureate reflects both his breakthrough achievements as Minister of Agriculture of Nigeria and his critical role in the development of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). It also gives further impetus to his profound vision for enhancing nutrition, uplifting smallholder farmers, and inspiring the next generation of Africans as they confront the challenges of the 21st century.”
In response, the president of the World Food Prize Foundation, Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, added that in making public Adesina’s name, the foundation took cognisance of the AFDB president’s role with the Rockefeller Foundation, which organised the 2006 Africa Fertiliser Summit; led a major expansion of commercial bank lending to farmers as Vice-President of AGRA; and, as Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria, introduced the E-Wallet system, which broke the back of corrupt elements that had controlled the fertiliser distribution system for 40 years. These great achievements were put together in assessing the winner.
“His policies expanded Nigeria’s food production by 21 million metric tonnes, and the country attracted $5.6 billion in private sector investments in agriculture – earning him the reputation as the ‘farmer’s minister’,” Quinn said.
Adesina spoke with reporters in Nigeria about how he felt after receiving the prestigious award. He said it was a great privilege to have been recognised by the World Food Prize Foundation which has motivated him to work more:
“It is a great honour for Nigeria where I come from; a great honour for Africa as well. But I think to me the most important part of it is what it really means for the future because I feel greatly inspired, I feel greatly motivated to go out and do even more in terms of making sure that for me I will not rest until Africa breaks out of hunger and can feed itself and also to see to the end of global hunger. For those two things I have actually dedicated my life, so I feel it’s for the greater end to accomplish those things.”
In addition, he expressed optimism about the future of Africa, saying that Africa’s picture is often painted wrongly and wish such paintings could be corrected:
“People think Africa is sinking, I don’t think Africa is sinking at all. I think Africa is making great progress; it’s just that it is difficult to end hunger. If you take for example the case on economic growth, Africa today is growing at roughly a projection of 3.4 per cent, which is above the 2.2 per cent from last year and next year we project that Africa’s GDP growth rate will be 4.3 per cent.”
He added that Africa is doing greatly in growth increase and development:
“Bear in mind that those growth rates are much higher than the global growth rate so Africa is doing well. It’s just that Africa needs to grow much faster than it is growing and I think obviously nobody eats GDP, so GDP is not professionally what really matters. However, growth is required if one is going to drive down poverty.”