The African Development Bank (AfDB) will invest $24 billion in Africa’s agriculture in the next 10 years, the Bank’s President Akinwumi Adesina revealed.
The investment will be part of its Feed Africa programme- a strategy for agricultural development on the continent to “ensure that Africa feeds itself within ten years and unlocks the full potential of its agriculture”.
Adesina was speaking at the 50th anniversary celebration of the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, Nigeria where he was recognized for his immense contributions to improving agriculture in Africa by having a newly constructed building named after him.
The $700,000 Akinwumi Adesina Youth Agripreneurs Building is a new Training Facility for Capacity Development for Youth Agripreneurs funded by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and IITA.
It comprises two major training rooms that can conveniently accommodate 50 trainees each, two big offices for 30 interns each and 20 standard sized offices.
“I am humbled, and deeply appreciative of the opportunity to lend my name to this well-equipped building which will be used by young Agripreneurs to learn, set up and launch their own businesses, and create a prosperous living for themselves, their families and those they will employ,” Adesina said.
Adesina re-affirmed his conviction that the future millionaires and billionaires of Africa will emerge from the agriculture sector noting that the $35 billion the continent spends annually to import food is a market opportunity that young people can tap into to create new wealth each year.
“To do that requires totally changing the lenses with which we look at agriculture. Agriculture should no longer be seen as a way of life or a development sector, but rather as a business for wealth creation,” he emphasized.
For his efforts to lift African farmers out of poverty, Adesina was recently feted with the $250, 000 World Food Prize, an international award that recognizes the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food globally.