Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina
President of the African Development Bank Group
Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina: A visionary leader transforming Africa
Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, is globally acclaimed for his transformative leadership on development issues, and especially in Africa. Known as “Africa’s Optimist in Chief” for his vision for Africa and innovative ideas, he previously served as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture. He was elected President of the African Development Bank in 2015, and unanimously re-elected in 2020.
Adesina is an alumnus of the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Nigeria, and Purdue University, USA, from where he obtained a PhD in Agricultural Economics and won the Outstanding Thesis Award. His tenure as Nigeria’s Agriculture Minister witnessed a revolutionary electronic wallet system that delivered seeds and fertilizers to 15 million farmers, and effectively ended decades of fertilizer sector corruption.
As President of the African Development Bank, Adesina is spearheading an acceleration of Africa’s development. Under his leadership, the African Development Bank Group increased its share capital from $93 billion to $208 billion in 2019, the highest in the history of the Bank since its establishment in 1964. He has garnered global acclaim for effectively raising the effectiveness, impact, and leadership of the Bank on financial innovations. In 2022, the African Development Bank was ranked as the Best Multilateral Financial Institution in the world by Global Finance. In 2023, the African Development Bank was ranked as the Most Transparent Financial Institution in the world by Publish What You Fund, for its sovereign operations.
Dr. Adesina led the Feed Africa Summit held earlier this year which attracted 34 heads of state and government and galvanized development partners and private sector and farmers for transformative actions for food self-sufficiency in Africa. The Summit mobilized $70 billion to implement the actions.
Dr. Adesina is a 2017 World Food Prize Laureate, and recipient of several international and national honors, as well as several honorary doctorates from universities in the US, Africa, and Canada.