AfDB President Receives Obafemi Awolowo Leadership Prize

The President, African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has been conferred with the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership.

The Executive Director, Obafemi Awolowo Foundation, Amb. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosumu, said this in a statement in Abuja.

The award promotes the legacy and democratic ideals of the late Nigerian nationalist and federalist leader, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

Awolowo-Dosunmu said Adesina was the unanimous choice of the Foundation’s Selection Committee.

He said the committee described Adesina as possessing the attributes for the award to the highest degree.

He listed the attributes that have characterised Chief Awolowo’s excellent leadership,  including integrity, credibility, discipline, courage, selflessness, accountability, tenacity of purpose, and visionary and people-centred leadership.

Awolowo-Dosunmu said that  former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, was one of several world leaders who nominated Adesina.

He quoted Jonathan as saying, “he epitomises and combines qualities of extraordinary leadership that are often rare.

“Great visionary, incredible courage, the ability to take on huge and difficult challenges, extraordinary dedication and commitment to deliver programmes and policies that transform the lives of millions of people.”

The former British Prime Minister Tony Blair also praised Adesina’s leadership.

Blair said, “Adesina’s contributions to the African continent and global leadership have been exceptional.

“Under his leadership, the African Development Bank has delivered bold interventions to address some of the greatest challenges of our time,” he said.

Also speaking, Amb. Kenneth Quinn, the  President Emeritus of the World Food Prize Foundation, saluted Adesina’s commitment to food security.

“President Adesina has traversed the African continent, evangelising his profound vision to end childhood stunting through enhanced nutrition.

“He has uplifted smallholder farmers, the great majority of them women, providing critical financing for a broad array of infrastructure projects so critical to development and modernisation,” Quinn said.

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Global Centre on Adaptation CEO Prof Patrick Verkooijen said no person was more highly qualified or deserving of the prestigious award than Adesina.

According to them, Adesina is forged in the same mould as Chief Obafemi Awolowo, a shining example of leadership.

Adesina is the third award recipient, following Nigerian writer and Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka and former South African President Thabo Mbeki. Naira Devaluation Deepens Economic Crisis in Nigeria

The Obafemi Awolowo Foundation, founded in 1992, is a non-profit, non-partisan organisation.

An award is scheduled for March 6, 2024, including a keynote lecture by the honouree.