Nigeria’s former Agriculture Minister and current President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwunmi Adesina has lauded the support of two former Nigerian presidents which helped him in winning the 2017 World Food Prize (WFP) Laureate award on Thursday, October 19, 2017.
Adesina was declared the winner for his dogged and practical commitment to boosting agriculture both as a Minister and the head of AfDB.
President of the Foundation, Amb. Kenneth Quinn said, “Adesina won the prize for driving change in African agriculture for over 25 years and improving food security for millions across the continent”.
“Adesina led a major expansion of commercial bank lending to farmers as Vice President of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and as Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria, introduced the E-Wallet system.”
In his remark, Mr Adesina expressed gratitude to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo for nominating him to be a minister in the first place. He also thanked former President Jonathan for the opportunity to serve the country.
President Buhari was also appreciated for his support and help during his election as AfDB’s head.
On what to do with the $250,000 prize, Adesina dedicated the money to the establishment of a fund to support young agro-entrepreneurs in Africa.
“There wouldn’t be any rest for me until Africa feeds itself and for that, we need the youth. And so even though I don’t have the cash in my hand, I hereby commit my 250,000 dollars as a cash prize for the WFP award to set up a fund fully dedicated to providing financing for the youth of Africa in agriculture to feed Africa,” Adesina said.
“A day is coming very soon when the barns of Africa will be filled and all her children will be well fed when millions of farmers will be able to send their kids to school.
“Then you will hear a new song across Africa; thank God our lives are better for us.’’