On 1 September, the African Development Bank (AfDB) appointed Dr Akinwumi Adesina to a second presidential term.
Inaugurated in 2015, the former Nigerian Minister of Agriculture was proud that under his stewardship, 141 million people in Africa had access to improved agricultural technologies for food security.
In his acceptance speech, Adenisa said the bank would build on the great successes it had made in agriculture.
“By scaling up technologies to reach tens of millions of farmers and supporting Africa to build competitive agricultural value chains. We will add value to what we produce in Africa, and provide creative and high-tech opportunities for massive youth engagement in agriculture and agribusiness” he said.
He steered the ENABLE youth initiative to help young graduates to be involved in agriculture from a business perspective, investing over €680 million in six countries – Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Nigeria, Sudan and Zambia.
Adesina’s passion for African agriculture to be a global food player in manufacturing and agro-processing earned him a World Food Prize award.
Furthermore, Adesina said the bank will hold on its promise of the High 5 priorities unveiled at his inaugural speech in 2015, which included; Light up and power Africa; Feed Africa; Industrialize Africa; Integrate Africa; and Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa.
He said that under the High-5s, 18 million Africans had gained access to electricity, while 60 million enjoyed new access to water, and 141 million people benefited from improved agricultural technologies for food production.
“When you first elected me five years ago, I had a vision. Five years later, I have yet a vision to build on our collective achievements over the next five years. A vision to build a much stronger and resilient African Development Bank Group with the leadership and capacity to deliver greater quality impacts for the people of Africa, while remaining financially strong and sustainable,” Adesina said.
At the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) in Africa last year, Adesina emphasised the support for smallholder farmers in contributing to Africa’s food security.
“They need access to finance, information, markets, the best technologies in the world (including mechanisation), and rural infrastructure to transform the rural economy” he said.
South African smallholder farmers were also encouraged to form part of the bank’s development programmes.