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African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina Receives Honorary Doctorate from Bowen University


The President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, has been awarded an Honoris Causa from Bowen University in Nigeria. The award, which was presented at the 14th graduation ceremony of the University held on November 2, 2019, was in recognition of Adesina’s “immense contribution to promoting entrepreneurship on the African continent.”

For almost a decade, African youth have continued to benefit from Adesina’s passion for innovation in agriculture as well as other market drivers.

Reading his valedictory speech, Adesina urged universities to create an enabling environment for entrepreneurship to thrive. “Youth are not the future; they are the present. Our collective responsibility is to prepare them to thrive today to drive the future through entrepreneurship,” he said.

He offered several recommendations to universities to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit in youth. These include standardising and enforcing entrepreneurship requirements; introduction of technology business incubator and innovation hubs, fostering access to venture capital and angel investors, and the establishment of private-sector driven research, technology and innovation centers on university campuses.

Adesina concluded his address with a plea to Nigeria to believe in its youth and to devote 20% of its oil earnings toward the setting up of a National Science and Innovation Fund to drive tech-enabled growth in Nigeria. He also matched the university’s gift prizes of 500,000, 300,000 and 200,000 naira to top three graduating students of 2019, all female.

Built on the values of excellence, godliness, entrepreneurship, innovation and social responsibility, Bowen University commenced academic activities in November 2002 with 506 students. It now operates the modified collegiate system with five colleges and 4,600 students.

This year, Bowen University emerged the overall winner of the 2019 Nigerian Universities’ Programming Contest (NUCPC). The University will lead the Nigerian contingent to the Africa and Arab Collegiate Programming Championship in Egypt in 2020.

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