The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) awarded Adesina for leadership and innovation on the continent on Monday, June 13.
Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), dedicated the award to African farmers, while receiving the award at the seventh Africa agriculture science week in Kigali, Rwanda.
The award was presented by Anastase Murekezi, Rwandan prime minister.
“Our collective targets in agriculture cannot be achieved without using science, technology and innovation,” Murekezi said.
“We must go beyond simply importing existing technology, and rather focus on developing our own, which is adapted to our local context, linking closely agriculture research to the users’ needs through agricultural extension system.”
Speaking before the award, Adesina said Nigeria must do its best to feed itself and drive its young population into sustainable agriculture.
Adesina is a distinguished development economist and agricultural development expert with 25 years of international experience. He earned a first-class honours bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) in 1981, and in 1988 he completed a PhD in agricultural economics at Purdue University in the US.
He currently serves as the eight elected President of AfDB. Prior to his appointment to lead the bank in September 2015, he served as Nigeria’s minister of agriculture and rural development from 2011 to 2015, during which time he implemented what FARA refers to as a “bold policy reforms in the fertilizer sector and pursued innovative agricultural investment programs to expand opportunities for the private sector”.
He was previously vice-president (Policy and Partnerships) of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and associate director (Food Security) at the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, where he worked for a decade (1998-2008).
He was principal economist and social science research coordinator for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). From 2008 to 2010, he was president of the African Association of Agricultural Economists.