Akinwumi Adesina, former Minister of Agriculture and current President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), says his $250,000 World Food Award prize money will be used to support African youths in Agriculture.
Adesina said this while delivering his acceptance speech at the award ceremony, which took place in the United States of America on Thursday.
The event was attended by representatives from more than 50 countries including Mike Pence, US Vice President.was also represented.
“There wouldn’t be any rest for me until Africa feeds itself and for that we need the youth,” Adesina said.
“And so, even though I don’t have the cash in my hand, I hereby commit my $250,000 cash prize for the WFP award to set up a fund fully dedicated to providing financing for the youth of Africa in agriculture to feed Africa.
“A day is coming very soon when the barns of Africa will be filled and all her children will be well-fed, when millions of farmers will be able to send their kids to school. Then you will hear a new song across Africa; thank God our lives are better for us.”
Adesina thanked Olusegun Obasanjo, former President, for nominating him as a minister, and Goodluck Jonathan, former President, for giving him the opportunity to serve in his government.
Kim Reynolds, Governor of the host State of Iowa, described Adesina as a worthy winner of the prize, adding that he was a man who grew out of poverty to create wealth.
Reynolds said Adesina’s commitment and dedication in agriculture had positively influenced the lives of many, even beyond the African continent.
“Tonight, we are honouring one of the most dynamic leaders in promoting food security and inspiring young people not only in Africa but around the world,” Reynolds said.
The World Food Prize Foundation announced Adesina as the winner of the 2017 World Food Award also referred to as ‘Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture’ in June.
The foundation gave several reasons why it chose Adesina for the world, including his achievements as Minister of Agriculture under Jonathan.