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Keynote Address

Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina, African Development Bank

Dr. Akinwumi Ayodeji ADESINA is the President of the African Development Bank Group, having been elected to the position in 2015. He was awarded the 2017 World Food Prize, cited for driving change in African agriculture for over 25 years and improving food security for millions across the continent. In the same year he was the recipient of the Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition.

He previously served as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, during which he implemented bold policy reforms and created new agricultural investment programmes to expand opportunities for the private sector. He has received a number of global awards for his leadership and work in agriculture.

A distinguished development economist and agricultural development expert, he was Vice-President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and Associate Director at the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, where he worked for a decade in senior leadership positions, including as Regional Office Director and Representative for Southern Africa.

Dr. Adesina was Principal Economist for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Principal Economist and Coordinator of the West Africa Rice Economics Task Force at the West Africa Rice Development Association and Assistant Principal Economist at the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics. He was also the President of the African Association of Agricultural Economists.

Dr. Adesina graduated in agricultural economics from the University of Ife, Nigeria, and has a PhD in Agricultural Economics at Purdue University in the United States, where he won the Outstanding PhD Thesis Award. He also won the prestigious Rockefeller Foundation Social Science Post-Doctoral Fellowship in 1988, which launched his international career in global agricultural development.

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