The President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, has received an Honorary Doctorate Degree (Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa) from his Alma Mater, Obafemi Awolowe University, in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Speaking at the ceremony on Saturday, December 12, the Vice Chancellor of the University extolled the virtues and achievements of President Adesina, adding that he is a son of the soil that has earned not only the award, but also the respect of all present.
While accepting the award, President Adesina urged the 2015 graduating class to ensure that integrity, humility and service to others remain their watchwords in all aspects of life. “As you move up in life, remember everyone that sacrificed to make it possible. Honour your parents for you will never get new ones, and give back to community. Every step you take higher, should bring your head closer to the ground,” he enthused. The President reminisced on his foundation years up to his graduation in 1981.
Courtesy visit to Governor of Osun State
While in Nigeria, President Akinwumi paid a courtesy call on the Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, and held discussions on the challenges of development in the state. Governor Aregbesola asked Adesina for advice on state initiatives that have not fully delivered on their promise. These include harnessing the immense potential of youth in agriculture. “Unless our young people are drawn to the farms, we are lost,” he said.
Responding to the Governor’s remarks, the AfDB President suggested sustainable solutions such as engaging in Public Private Partnerships to finance agriculture, tapping into the Agricultural Equipment Hiring Enterprise to ensure access to modern farming tools, and also investing heavily in energy. He emphasized that the establishment of hydro stations and a state agency for electricity would ensure sustainable change in the development of the state. The Bank President advised the state to form industrial clusters after conducting analysis of the various crops grown in the different regions within the state.