Adesina Bags Awolowo Prize For Leadership


President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina has bagged the 2023 Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership.

At a colourful ceremony on Wednesday in Lagos, Serving and former African Presidents took turns to commend the outstanding leadership of Adesina.

President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu Hassan; Ethiopian President, Sahle-Work Zewde; Prime Minister of Togo, Victoire Tomegah Dogbé; and President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria applauded Adesina’s sterling Pan-Africanism.

The President of the Union of Comoros and the outgoing Chairperson of the African Union (AU), Azali Assoumani, described Adesina as a pragmatist, an innovator and a visionary whose leadership has given the AfDB a facelift.

“Dr Adesina has an incredible ability to bring leaders together, to dedicate and commit themselves to initiatives that transform African on a daily basis,” he said.


Also, a former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd) described as deserving, the choice Adesina as the honoree.

Gowon said the former Nigerian Minister of Agriculture represents the best of Nigeria while extolling his sterling attributes of hard work, diligence, intimidating academic and professional credentials, amongst others.

“The choice of Dr Akinwumi Adesina can only be described as having been very well done. He represents the best of Nigeria, hardworking, diligent, brilliant, forward-looking, and deeply patriotic,” Gowon said.

Also, nonagenarian elder statesman and former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, commended the choice of Adesina as the fourth recipient of the prestigious award which was started in the honour of the late sage, Awolowo.  Past awardees of the prestigious award which recognises pan-African leadership are Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka; former South African President, Thabo Mbeki; and legal luminary Aare Afe Babalola.

Anyaoku saluted Adesina’s “tremendous achievement” as Nigeria’s Agriculture Minister from 2011 to 2015 and “even more spectacular performance as President of the African Development Bank”.

He said, “Out of the many reputable nominations received, members of the selection committee unanimously considered Dr Akinwumi Adesina as having in his career to date in a large measure, the Chief Obafemi Awolowo attribute that I have sought to describe.”

Former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan graced the event while President Bola Tinubu was represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima.

Serving governors including Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Alex Otti (Abia), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Usman Ododo (Kogi), and Mohammed Bago (Niger), as well as the Chairman of Channels Media Group, Dr John Momoh who presented Adesina’s citation at the event