May 2, 2018 - Author: Samantha Ward
Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank Group and 2017 World Food Prize Laureate, will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Agriculture from Michigan State University (MSU) at the advanced degree ceremony on Friday, May 4, 2018.
“It’s a distinct privilege for this university and our college to be able to honor Dr. Adesina,” said Ron Hendrick, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “To host and speak with one of the biggest names in agriculture and food security is a great opportunity for our faculty, students, and our programs as a whole.”
While on campus, Adesina will speak with faculty, staff, and students to learn more about the initiatives and research at MSU, and to share his experiences as one of the most notable agricultural economists and food security professionals in the world.
“Dr. Adesina is very well-deserving of this honor and recognition by Michigan State University. He has been a visionary and transformative leader who has led impactful change that has helped to improve African agriculture and the overall well-being of many people on the continent,” Titus Awokuse, chairperson of the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics said. “The timing of this honorary degree award is also ideal because Dr. Adesina can join MSU and AFRE in celebrating the Year of Global Africa and the long partnership between Africa and MSU.”
Through his roles over the past two decades with the Rockefeller Foundation, at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), as Minister of Agriculture of Nigeria, and now as the current president of the African Development Bank Group, Adesina has been at the forefront of galvanizing political will to transform African agriculture through initiatives to expand agricultural production, thwart corruption in the Nigerian fertilizer industry, and exponentially increase the availability of credit for smallholder farmers across the African continent.
Adesina has been heralded as ‘Africa’s Norman Borlaug,’ and for the past 25 years has passionately spearheaded major policies of comprehensive support for millions of farmers across the continent, including access to financing and credit, access to agricultural technologies such as improved seeds and fertilizers and investment in agriculture from both the public and private sectors. As a result of his impressive and impassioned work, Adesina has received a number of global awards for his work in agriculture, including the 2017 World Food Prize and the Outstanding Black Agricultural Economist from the American Association of Agricultural Economists.
At MSU, Adesina will be interviewed by Thomas Jayne, AFRE professor, around the topic “The New Landscape of Development Research in Africa: How International Universities Can Be more Effective through Partnerships.” The conversation will be followed by an open floor discussion with attendees. This event is free and open to the public, and will be held on Thursday, May 3 from 4-5 p.m., MSU International Center, Room 303.
Before receiving his Honorary Doctorate on Friday, Adesina will take part in an MSU Student Conversation session, where he will speak with students from AFRE, the Broad College of Business, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars program, and MSU students from around Africa.
Adesina will give remarks at the Jack Breslin Events Center during the Honorary Doctor of Agriculture Degree Ceremony, starting at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, May 4.