African bank president to get $250,000 for food crusade
June 27—On October 19, Akinwumi Adesina, the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), will be handed a $250,000 cheque as this year’s winner of the World Food Prize. The ceremony will take place in Des Moines, Iowa in the United States.
Specifically the award recognizes people who have been involved in improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. The prize money is raised from several public and private US institutions and companies.
In its statement accompanying the announcement, the World Food Foundation said, ‘Adesina has been at the forefront of galvanizing public will to transform African agriculture through initiatives to expand agricultural production, thwart corruption in the Nigerian fertilizer industry and exponentially increase the availability of credit for smallholder farmers across the African continent’.
Norman Borlaug, the winner of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize created the World Food Prize in 1987 to help drive the sustainable global food production agenda. Adesina’s career is grounded on agriculture research and development. He has had stints at the Rockefeller Foundation, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), and is a former Nigerian agriculture minister. In 2006, Adesina was the lead organizer the African Fertilizer Summit, which led to creation of AGRA.
Kenneth Quinn, the President of the Foundation, announced the selection of Adesina during a ceremony at the US Department of Agriculture headquarters in Washington, but Adesina was not present although he is the sixth African laureate.