After six rounds of voting that saw off seven candidates from across the region, Nigeria’s outgoing Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has been elected to serve as the next president of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
From the start, Adesina was one of the leading contenders for the role. During his four-year tenure as Nigeria’s Agricultural Minister, Adesina has introduced the electronic wallet system and other innovations that have improved access to financing and inputs for over fourteen million smallholder farmers as well as drastically reduced corruption and other market inefficiencies. At the core of this work has been a push for a fundamental change in the perception of agriculture from that of subsistence to business. These accomplishments have led to him being described as “a man on a mission to help Africa feed itself” and honored with Forbes’ prestigious African of the Year award.