Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, has been widely acknowledged as a champion of agricultural growth and innovation in Africa. He was named Forbes Africa Person of the Year 2013 for his bold reforms in Nigeria’s agriculture sector, which has empowered more than six million farmers to embrace agriculture as a business. In 2010, Dr. Adesina was awarded the Borlaug CAST Award by the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, USA, for his global leadership on agricultural science and technology. Dr. Adesina is also a laureate of the prestigious YARA Prize, which he won in 2007 for his leadership in pioneering innovative approaches to improve access of agricultural inputs to African farmers. He is a recipient of Nigeria’s second-highest National Honor, the Commander of the Order of Nigeria, for outstanding service to his country.
Dr. Adesina boasts more than 20 years of experience managing successful agricultural programs across Africa. Until his appointment as Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in 2011, Dr. Adesina was the Vice President of Policy & Partnerships at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). Before joining AGRA in 2008, he was associate director for Food Security at the Rockefeller Foundation for more than a decade. He has held senior leadership positions within the research centers of the CGIAR Consortium, including the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA), and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).
In 2010, Dr. Adesina was appointed by the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, as one of 17 world leaders to galvanize international support for the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Dr. Adesina also serves on the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, which was launched at the G8 Food and Nutrition Summit 2013 in London.
Dr. Adesina has a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University in the USA and a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics from Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Purdue University in 2008, the Distinguished Alumni Award (2009) and the Grand Commander of Greater Ife (2013), both from the Obafemi Awolowo University.