Portrait is our latest series that looks at the life and impact of leaders across various spheres through the lens of young people who have been inspired by their actions. Today, Timi Ajayi looks at how Akinwumi Adesina, currently the President of the African Development Bank, is pushing the continent’s agenda through positive reforms despite the latest wave of opposition.
Born in the year of our Independence, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina stands out as an example of what we can be, 60 years after. It takes a lot to lead, but rarer to find these days are leaders who have a passionate commitment to development and who defy the odds to make things happen.
Dr. Adesina, like most leaders, is a brilliant man with numerous achievements to his name. However, one thing that stands him out is the ingenuity behind many of his reforms, which has resulted in a massive increase in productivity.
In 2010, during his time as Nigeria’s Minister for Agriculture, he introduced the E-Wallet system in 90 days, an innovation that put paid to the massive corruption that had ravaged the fertilizer distribution system for 40 years. The impact of this reform is captured in his speech presented at the 36th session of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in 2013, which estimates that allowing companies to sell directly to farmers resulted in sales worth $100 million and an increase in food supply by 8.1 million metric tonnes.
“Agriculture is not a way of life, agriculture is not a development activity, agriculture is a straight-line business. What Africa must do to get to the top of the global value chains in the things that it produces, in other words, agricultural industrialization, is to add value to everything that Africa produces.”
Adesina’s leadership and continuous reforms at his various levels of responsibility are a reminder that we will be remembered by the changes we made happen, the causes we supported, and the values we embodied. His work speaks for him. Men like him should be celebrated and not discouraged.
About Timi Ajayi
Hey there! I’m ‘Timi the dependable. I am highly motivated and resourceful, and I have a
commitment to Community development and Youth empowerment. I am a 600 Level
Medical student at the College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University.
June 22, 2020
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