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The 2017 World Food Prize Laureate and President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, has received the Order of the Griffin award, one of Purdue University’s highest honors.
The Order of the Griffin is given to individuals whose commitment and service to the university go well beyond the call of duty, and whose strength and vision have greatly benefitted the institution and the world.
The award was given to Adesina by the President of Purdue University, Mitchell Daniels, during a Presidential Lecture Series held at the university on October 23, 2017. Adesina, who was the special guest at the Lecture Series, earned his Master’s and doctoral degrees in Agricultural Economics from Purdue.
“We have a lot of recognitions here at Purdue and lots of ways to honour people who do extraordinary things. The single highest of these, which has been given fewer than 50 times in history, is called the Griffin Award, and those of us who huddled on this subject took no time at all to decide that if anyone ever merited the Griffin Award from Purdue University, it's you, Dr. Adesina. Here it is, and thank you,” Daniels announced to a large university audience.
Answering questions at the Presidential Lecture Series, Adesina emphasized the need to enshrine e-governance in Africa. He described e-governance as essential for citizen participation and transparency.
He also spoke on the need for strong institutions in Africa.
“It is important to build very strong institutions, and also important to have strong economic management to make sure that the countries can have robust growth. Without growth you can't distribute anything,” he said.
Among other issues, he identified peace as critical to achieving the green revolution in Africa, highlighting what the African Development Bank is doing to help African countries to build more resilient economies.
“I think that it is a very important area that we need to deal with. At the end of the day, when you have insecurity, it is the women and children who suffer the most. Africa has a rising refugee population as a result of insecurity in many of our countries,” he said.
“We also have a lot of problems from malnutrition because of a lack of food. To have development or to have, let me say, a green revolution that we're talking about, we have to sow the seeds on ridges of peace.”