The President of the African Development Bank, Adesina Akinwumi has been named the World Food Prize winner by the governor of the State of Iowa (US) Kim Reynolds according to reports. The prize is on behalf of the World Food Prize Foundation.
Recognising the difficulty young African farmers and agriculture entrepreneurs face in accessing funds, Adesina has pledged to use his US $250,000 prize money to help provide financing through loans for the youth of Africa with bottom-line being to feed Africa.
He said, “And so, even though I don’t have the cash in my hand, I hereby commit my $250,000 as a cash prize for the World Food Prize award to set up a fund fully dedicated to providing financing for the youth of Africa in agriculture to feed Africa.”
“We will arise and feed Africa. The day is coming very soon when all its children will be well-fed when millions of small-holder farmers will be able to send their kids to school,” he added.
Adesina was accompanied by Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, and John Mahama, the former Ghanian president, and his family.
Along with the Nigerian representatives, Purdue University and associates, and Bank staff came out in their numbers to celebrate Adesina, the African agriculture icon known as “Africa’s Norman Borlaug.”
The vice president of the United States of America Michael Pence, in a statement, commended Adesina’s devotion to the cause of fighting global hunger calling it admirable and deeply needed. He also extended heartfelt congratulations on behalf of President Donald Trump.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) under Adesina’s leadership, is increasing agricultural development through its Feed Africa Strategy with a planned investment of US $24 billion over the next 10 years.