Akinwumi Adesina pledges his US250,000 prize to fund young farmers

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Akinwunmi Adesina

Dr Akinwumi Adesina has been officially named as the 2017 World Food Prize Laureate. The President of the African Development Bank was named by the Governor of State of Iowa, Kim Reynolds on behalf of the World Food Prize foundation, setting off an atmosphere of celebration at, the Iowa State Capitol Building where the event was held.

“I am proud as the Governor of Iowa State to proclaim Dr. Akinwumi Adesina as the 2017 World Food Prize Laureate.” Kim Reynold announced.

The award is the world’s highest recognition for food and agriculture was announced in June 2017.  Accompanied by former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo and former President of Ghana, John Mahama, Dr Adesina stepped to the podium to receive the award.

world food prize

He was cheered and celebrated by his wife and two children alongside a large audience that include representatives of the Nigerian Government, Purdue University, friends, associates and staff of the bank.

In line with his commitment to feeding Africa and empowering African youth, Adesina pledged his $250,000 prize money to a fund to support young African farmers and agripreneurs.

“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,” Adesina said.

Akinwumi Adesina

During his lecture, Adesina stressed the need for the world to help Africa unlock its full potential in agriculture and be able to feed itself as against the situation where most of the food are still being imported.

“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,” Adesina said.

“Then you will hear a new song across Africa: ‘Thank God our lives are better at last.’”

The Vice President of the United States of America, Michael Pence who was represented by the by Mark Green, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) commended Adesina in his speech during the ceremony, describing his devotion to the cause of fighting hunger as admirable and deeply needed.

While extending the heartfelt congratulations from Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, Pence said the United States is and remains committed to food security, and we will continue to work with leaders like Adesina to find innovative ways to end global hunger.

The President of the World Food Prize Foundation, Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, paid tribute to Adesina, “whose breakthrough achievements have impacted millions of farmers and those living in rural poverty in Nigeria and throughout Africa, and whose leadership holds great promise for uplifting millions and millions more across that continent.”

The AFDB, under the President of Adesina plans to invest US $24 billion over the next ten years through the Feed Africa Strategy to accelerate agricultural development in Africa.

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