Nobel Week Dialogue

Akinwumi A. Adesina

Akinwumi Adesina, often described as ‘Africa’s optimist-in-chief’ and formerly the Nigerian Agriculture Minister, was elected president of the African Development Bank Group in 2015.

Often described as Africa’s optimist-in-chief, African Development Bank Group president Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina is widely lauded for his visionary leadership and passion for Africa’s transformation. Formerly the Nigerian Agriculture Minister, Adesina was first elected president of the African Development Bank Group on 28 May 2015. He was re-elected for a second five-year term on 27 August 2020 with 100% of the votes.  

On 31 October 2019, Adesina led the African Development Bank Group to achieve the highest capital increase since the Bank Group’establishment in 1964, when shareholders from 80 member countries raised the general capital from $93 billion to a historic $208 billion. With Adesina at the helm, the African Development Bank Group responded boldly to the coronavirus pandemic. On 3 April 2020, the premier development finance institution launched a landmark $3 billion COVID-19 Social Bond followed by a COVID-19 Crisis Response Facility of $10 billion.  

Over the course of his career, Adesina has been recognised with numerous awards. On 19 October 2017, the President was conferred with the prestigious World Food Prize. On 29 February 2020he was named African of the Year 2019 by one million readers of the African Leadership Magazine.