Nigeria’s Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, this year’s recipient of the World Food Prize, says that Africa has the potential to help feed the world but needs assistance to cultivate a modern agribusiness sector and infrastructure to support it.
“Africa cannot grow in the dark,” said Adesina in remarks made this week while delivering the annual Norman Borlaug Lecture during 2017 World Food Prize Week events in the United States. It’s a common phrase the president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) uses to underscore the need for access to electricity across Africa, and the revolution that renewable energy sources – developed alongside African agriculture – will bring in harnessing technology to help boost yields and local economies.
Adesina says the African continent can achieve self-sufficiency in 10 years with the right strategies, breaking the cycle of food insecurity and today’s high level of USD$35 billion in food imports. Instead, the continent can become a major food exporter in a world of climate change and growing demand.
The prestigious USD$250,000 prize awarded to Adesina was announced in June, and honors his leadership in improving the practice and production of food in Africa while “galvanizing the political will to transform African agriculture,” the World Food Prize Foundation said in its statement.
In accepting the prize, Adesina spoke of his life mission to help move millions from poverty and create wealth through the African economy’s agricultural sector.
“The World Food Prize gives me an even greater global platform to make that future happen much faster for Africa,” said Adesina, who believes that “an Africa that can feed itself,” while indeed a big vision, can be achieved through political will and the resources that follow.
To learn more about the World Food Prize and events that continue through Saturday, see this link.