15 Things You Need To Know About The New AfDB President

Written by Dana Sanchez

Nigeria’s popular Agriculture Minister, Akinwumi Adesina, was elected president of the African Development Bank on May 28, beating out seven other candidates for Africa’s top banking job.

Credited with making agriculture cool, even hip, Adesina endeared himself to unemployed and under-employed Africans — not just in Nigeria, but all over the continent.

In 2013 Forbes named him African of the Year for his reforms to Nigeria’s farming sector. In his acceptance speech, he said his goal was to make as many millionaires, maybe even billionaires, from agriculture as possible.

Clearly, his ideas for African agriculture go beyond Nigerian borders. He’s a big thinker, and was one of eight candidates vying to be the next president of the African Development Bank.

And it’s a big job. The bank has given out more than $100 billion in loans and grants since its 1964 inception.

Adesina was considered a favorite for the job based on his appeal, track record, and the African Development Bank looking to agriculture to unlock jobs and transform the continent’s rural economies.

Here are 12 things you need to know about the new AfDB president.

Sources: ConsultancyAfricaThisIsAfricaBBCDevexCNNCOVAfricaQuartz.

This is an updated version of an article published May 14, 2015.