Dr. Akinwumi Ayo Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group.
On May 28, 2015, during the Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors, Akinwumi A. Adesina was elected the 8th President of the African Development Bank Group. Adesina was one out of eight candidates that were approved by the Steering Committee of the Board of Governors. The 55-year-old received 60 percent of all the votes and he stated that he was “humbled by this remarkable vote of confidence in me”. Assuming office from the 1st of September 2015, he will be the first Nigerian to hold the position of president at the African Development Bank and the 8th president in the history of the bank since it’s foundation in 1963. In his vision statement before the elections he defined inclusive growth, regional integration and a globally competitive Africa as his priorities for the bank. He wrote, that it will be critical to have smarter infrastructure to increase the productivity and competitiveness for Africa. Also the private sector, being the engine of growth and wealth creation, will be one of his focus points.
Coming from a humble background of a farmer’s family in the Ogun State in southwestern Nigeria, he received a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Ife (Obafemi Awolowo University). Later on in 1988, he obtained a Ph.D in Agricultural Economics from the Purdue University in the United States of America. Before being elected President of the African Development Bank, Adesina was serving as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. During his service as minister, food production in Nigeria increased by 22 million tons, food imports dropped around a third and according to the Nigerian government, this agricultural revival created around 3 million jobs.