6 October 2022
African Development Bank President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has been named 2022 Man of the Year (Africa) by Exclusive Men of the Year (EMY), for his visionary leadership as the president of the African Development Bank Group and for his outstanding contribution to Africa during his period as agriculture minister of Nigeria.
The EMY awards are organized by the EMY Africa Magazine, "a premier men's magazine that addresses the people, places, ideas and issues that shape men's personal expressions, development and experiences."
"When we look around, we see different people making their contributions to society. We know Africa is going to be Africa if we harness our agricultural value and go up the value chain. One man has stood up for his inspiration, for his motivation and for making us believe with a vision and strategy that we can achieve this," said UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana, Charles Abani, who announced the prize during a ceremony held on 1 October in Accra, Ghana.
As Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria from 2011 to 2015, Adesina is credited with turning the agriculture sector of Nigeria around within four years. Under his tenure, Nigeria ended 40 years of corruption in the fertilizer sector by developing and implementing an innovative electronic wallet system, which directly provided farmers with subsidized farm inputs at scale using their mobile phones. Within the first four years of its launch, this electronic wallet system reached 15 million farmers.
With Adesina at the helm, the African Development Bank Group achieved the highest capital increase since its establishment in 1964. On 31 October 2019, shareholders from 80 member countries raised the general capital from $93 billion to a historic $208 billion.
Adesina has also led other achievements such as the Bank's bold and swift response to the Covid-19 pandemic with the launch of a landmark $3 billion Covid-19 Social Bond followed by a Crisis Response Facility of up to $10 billion. In May this year, the African Development Bank Group's Board of Directors approved a $1.5 billion Emergency Food Production Facility to help tackle the global food crisis sparked by the Russian-Ukraine conflict. The funds will help 20 million African farmers produce an extra 38 million metric tons of food to address growing fears of starvation and food insecurity on the continent.
In announcing the Man of The Year (Africa) award, EMY recognized Dr Adesina's contribution as "a bold reformer" and "globally renowned development economist and agriculture development expert, with more than 30 years of experience in development."
Since 2016, EMY Africa has celebrated the best in men's achievements across local industry, community, culture and public service. Past recipients of the EMY Africa Awards have been inspirational men with accomplished or promising careers who have made important contributions to life in African communities.
Receiving the award on behalf of Dr. Adesina, African Development Bank Ghana Country manager for Ghana Eyerusalem Fasika thanked the EMY team and all the partners for the recognition.