During his period as the Agriculture Minister of Nigeria, African Development Bank (AfDB) president Akinwumi Adesina’s outstanding contribution earned him the ‘2022 Man of the Year (Africa)’ award, presented to him by the Exclusive Men of the Year (EMY), for his visionary leadership as the president of the AfDB
From 2011 to 2015, Adesina, who was the then Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria, managed to completely turn the country’s agriculture sector around. One of the most notable developments that took place under his tenure was the implementation of an innovative electronic wallet system, which reached approximately 15 million farmers within the first four years of its launch. This system enabled farmers to directly receive subsidised farm inputs at scale using their mobile phones.
Moreover, Adesina paved the path for the AfDB Group into achieving the highest capital increase since its establishment in 1964. He also launched a US$3bn COVID-19 Social Bond, followed by a Crisis Response Facility of up to US$10bn, which was considered a bold and swift response by the Bank during the pandemic. In addition to this, the AfDB Group’s Board of Directors also approved an emergency food production facility worth US$1.5bn aimed at tackling the global food crisis sparked by the Russian-Ukraine conflict in May 2022.
“We know Africa is going to be Africa if we harness our agricultural value and go up the value chain. One man has stood up for his inspiration, for his motivation and for making us believe with a vision and strategy that we can achieve this,” announced UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana, Charles Abani, at the ceremony held on 1 October in Accra, Ghana. Adesina’s contribution was recognised as ‘a bold reformer’ and ‘globally renowned development economist and agriculture development expert, with more than 30 years of experience in development.’
On his behalf, AfDB Ghana Country manager for Ghana, Eyerusalem Fasika received the award and thanked the EMY team and partners for the recognition.