GOVERNANCE / Akinwumi Adesina

Akinwumi Adesina

President, African Development Bank (AfDB)


Akinwumi Adesina is the eighth elected President of the African Development Bank Group. He was elected to the position on May 28, 2015 by the Bank’s Board of Governors at its Annual Meetings in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Mr. Adesina took office at the Bank’s headquarters in Abidjan on September 1, 2015 and will serve an initial five-year term.

Mr. Adesina is a distinguished development economist and agricultural development expert with 25 years of international experience. He is the first Nigerian to serve as President of the Bank Group.

Mr. Adesina served as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development from 2011 to 2015, during which time he implemented bold policy reforms in the fertilizer sector and pursued innovative agricultural investment programs to expand opportunities for the private sector.

Mr. Adesina was previously Vice President of Policy and Partnerships at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. He was also Associate Director of Food Security at the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, where he worked for a decade (1998 – 2008) in senior leadership positions, including as Regional Office Director and Representative for Southern Africa.

Mr. Adesina was Principal Economist and Social Science Research Coordinator at 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 an Assistant Principal Economist at the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics. From 2008 to 2010, he was the President of the African Association of Agricultural Economists.

Mr. Adesina has received a number of global awards for his leadership and work in agriculture. In 2010, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed him as one of 17 global leaders to spearhead the Millennium Development Goals, along with Bill Gates, the Spanish Prime Minister, and the President of Rwanda. Mr. Adesina was named Person of the Year by Forbes Africa magazine in 2013.


  • 1988: won the prestigious Rockefeller Foundation Social Science Post-Doctoral Fellowship, which launched his international career in global agricultural development
  • 1988: Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics, Purdue University (United States)
    • Outstanding Ph.D. Thesis Award
  • 1981: first-class honors bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics, University of Ife (Nigeria)

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