Dr. Akinwumi Ayodeji ADESINA was elected President of the African Development Bank Group in 2015. In 2019 he received the Sunhak Peace Prize for his achievements in promoting food security in Africa through agricultural innovation. The biennial award honours individuals and organizations who have made a significant contribution to world peace for future generations.
He previously served as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, during which time he implemented bold policy reforms and created new agricultural investment programmes to expand opportunities for the private sector. He has received a number of global awards for his leadership and work in agriculture, such as the World Food Prize, awarded in 2017; that same year he was also the recipient of the Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition.
A distinguished development economist and agricultural development expert, Adesina was Vice-President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and Associate Director at the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, where he worked for a decade in senior leadership positions, including as Regional Office Director and Representative for Southern Africa.
Dr. Adesina was Principal Economist for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Principal Economist and Coordinator of the West Africa Rice Economics Task Force at the West Africa Rice Development Association and Assistant Principal Economist at the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics. He was also the President of the African Association of Agricultural Economists.
Dr. Adesina has a Bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Ife, Nigeria, and a PhD in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University in the United States, where he won the Outstanding PhD Thesis Award. He also won the prestigious Rockefeller Foundation Social Science Post-Doctoral Fellowship in 1988, which launched his international career in global agricultural development.