First Speech By AfDB’s president-elect Akinwumi Adesina

First Speech By AfDB’s president-elect Akinwumi Adesina

Nigeria’s outgoing Minister of Agriculture, Akinwumi Adesina, beat seven other strong candidates to become the next African Development Bank President at an election held on Thursday in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

Adesina, 55, rose from humble beginning as a son of a small-scale farmer in Ogun State, southwest Nigeria, to head one of the most powerful financial institutions in Africa, his friends told AFP.

With a first-class honors degree in agricultural economics from Southwestern University of Ife and a doctorate in the same subject at Purdue in the US midwest, he held senior positions in the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGGRA) before  being appoint as the Agriculture Minister in 2011.

He was named African Person of the Year by Forbes magazine in 2013 for his agricultural reforms in Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer.

“I know that Africa’s future is huge and I know that together as partners we can make Africa the pride of the world in terms of having a lot of inclusive growth, ” Adesina said in his first speech as AfDB’s president-elect.