Nigeria’s agriculture minister who takes over the bank this year has the energy and vision to take this premier African institution into the future, writes DIANNA GAMES
Published in Business Day SA, 1 June 2015
THE new African Development Bank (AfDB) president, Nigeria’s Akinwumi Adesina, has been a breath of fresh air in African agriculture.
As Nigeria’s agriculture minister, he worked to cut Nigeria’s $11bn-a-year import bill for basic foodstuffs by looking at innovative funding mechanisms, tackling corruption and improving efficiency.
He tried to reframe the sector as being a critical catalyst for growth rather than a tool for poverty alleviation. "We were looking at agriculture as a developmental activity, like a social sector in which you manage poor people in rural areas. But agriculture is not a social sector… (it) is a business."