According to the Most Reputable People on Earth list released by South Africa-based Reputation Poll, Dr. Akinwunmi Adeshina is the third most reputable person in the world. Reputation Poll described the ranking as “a list of individuals across the globe that have amassed high reputation for themselves through their work and achievements.” The list features individuals from diverse sectors, including policy, entertainment, leadership, education and business. “Our model for measuring reputation is distinct and also very credible for the public to rely on,” the firm said, noting that its polls are conducted with an average of 20,000 respondents who take part in nominations, research and voting.
Dr Akinwunmi Adesina’s Background
Dr Akinwunmi Adesina is an indigene of Ebadam, Ogun State. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics (First Class Honors) from the University of Ife, Masters (1985) and PhD in Agricultural Economics (1988) from Purdue University USA where he won outstanding thesis award for that year. Dr Adesina is currently the 8th elected president of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and the first Nigerian to serve as the president of the Bank Group, who was elected on May 28th, 2015 and assumed office on 1st September, 2015.
Appointment as Minister of Agriculture
He was the Nigerian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (2010-2015) under President Goodluck Jonathan led administration. During his tenure as a minister, he implemented policy that reformed the fertilizer sector, and pursued innovative agricultural investments with the purpose of expanding opportunities for private sector. While serving as a minister, he adopted an innovative electronic wallet system, which provides farmers with subsidized farm inputs at scale using their mobile phones. This espoused policy was able to end a long term of corruption in the fertilizer sector. He also led initiatives that supported youth engagement in the agricultural sector, as well as Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). It was during his tenure as the Minister of Agriculture that Nigeria’s food production expanded to 21 million metric tonnes, surpassing the 20 million metric tonnes set out at the start of his tenure.
Other appointments and offices held
He has served as the Senior Economist and Social Science Coordinator for International Institute for the Semiarid Tropics from 1988-1990.
He was Principal Economist for the West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA) from 1990-1995;
He was the Vice President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) in 2008, where he championed initiatives that leveraged over $4 billion in bank finance commitment towards Africa’s agriculture sector.
He has served as Associate Director and Regional Director for the Southern Africa office at the Rockefeller Foundation.
He has served on the Technical Board of the Forum for African Woman Educationalist.
Awards and Honors
Photo: People’s Post
In 2007, he was awarded the prestigious YARA Prize in Oslo, Norway for his leadership in championing innovative which approaches to improve access to agricultural inputs for African farmers.
He received the Distinguished Alumni Award (2008) from Purde University, USA and in 2008 he won the Distinguished Alumni Award from University of Ife—Obafemi Awolowo University.
In 2010, he was awarded Borlaug CAST Award by the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology.
He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Franklin and Marshall College for his reforms and global leadership in improving the lives and livelihood of the poor.
In 2010, he was appointed by United Nations Secretary, Ban Ki-Moon, as one of the 17 world leaders to facilitate international support for the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
In 2012, he was conferred the Nigeria’s second highest National Honor, Commander of the Order of Nigeria, for his outstanding service to his country.
In 2013, he won Forbes African Person of the Year (first public sector minister to win the award) pinched on his reforms in Nigeria’s agriculture sector which was recorded to have empowered more than eight million farmers across Nigeria to embrace agriculture as business.
In 2013, Influential Leadership Newspaper selected him as the Public Servant of the Year, for his transparency, policy reforms and public accountability.
In 2017, he was rated as the 3rd Most Reputable Personality in the world. The rank was released by the global performance-reputation management consulting agency and featured “list of individuals across the globe that have amassed high reputation for themselves through their work and achievements.”
In 2017, he was awarded the World Food Prize Laureate. He was the 46th recipient and the sixth African to be honored with this award for improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.