Redefining banking sector by Akinwumi Adesina

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina

Currently serving as the 8th President of the African Development Bank, Adesina is a Nigerian economist. He has served as Nigeria’s minister of agriculture and rural development in 2010.

Early Life

Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina was born on the 6th of February, 1960.

He was born to a Nigerian farmer in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.


He attended a community school and  in 1981, he graduated with a First Class Honors in Agricultural Economics from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Nigeria.

He was the first student in the university history to bag the first-class honor.

He further continued his studies at  Purdue University in Indiana, where in 1988, he obtained his Ph.D.

(Agricultural Economics).

He won the Outstanding Ph.D. Thesis for his research work at Purdue University.


From 1990 to 1995, Adesina served as a senior economist at the West  African Rice Development Association(WARDA) in Bouake, Ivory Coast.

He has also worked at the Rockefeller Foundation.

From 1999 to 2003 he was the foundation’s representative for the Southern African Area.

Adesina started his career in 2011 as an intern at Abel Aiyedogbon and Co, where he served as an Audit Assistant and he has embraced other appointments with  Stanbic IBTC Asset Management, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Pioneer Chief Operating Officer at Proville, and now CEO/Co-founder of One Kiosk Africa.

Adesina’s first term as President of African Development Bank Group

On may 28th 2015, Adesina was elected as the president of the African Development Bank Group.

During his first tenure, he made 18million Africans have access to electricity, 15million Africans benefited from his investment scheme, 60million Africans had access to water, 141 million Africans had improved agricultural technology for food and 101 million Africans had access to improved transport from infrastructure.

Still, in his first term, he introduced the Africa Investment Forum, A forum of investment marketplace for Africa, and it attracted 38.1 billion investments in 2018  and 40 billion in 2019.

Adesina’s Second term as President of African Development Bank Group

On 27th August 2020, Governors of the 54 Africa regional member countries and 27 none regional members countries of the African development bank group unanimously voted in Adesina as the president for a second five-year term.

“Yet again, let us move forward, driven by the power of our mission, inspired by the primacy of our vision and emboldened by the strength of our togetherness” he said at his opening speech.

Controversial probe

In January 2020,  a group of unnamed whistleblowers leveled 16 claims allegations against Adesina to the bank’s internal auditing body. The bank’s ethics committee in March called these allegations “frivolous and without merit,” and Adesina was cleared.

In May 2020, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sent a letter to the bank’s board, questioninge the integrity of the internal probe, calling for an independent investigation into the allegations. A threemember independent review panel was set up by the bureau of governors of the bank, the panel included:  Mary Robinson, Ireland’s former president; Justice Hassan Jallow, former minister of justice in the Gambia; and Leonard McCarthy, former vice president of the World Bank Integrity Vice Presidency.

The independent review panel agreed with the bank’s ethics committee that the allegations against Adesina were “properly considered and were untrue.

Recognitions and Awards

In 2015, he was among the top 100 most influential Africans by New African Magazine.

He was named Forbes person of the year in 2013 and 2019.

Afe Babalola Univerity recognized him with an honorary doctor award in 2018.

In 2019, he was honored with the grand title of Officer of the National order of merit of Tunisia.

Net Worth

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has a net worth of $100M which he made from having multiple businesses all over the world. According to the payment structure of the banks’ presidents, A president who has twenty year experience receives $163,099. Therefore, Dr. Akinwumi Earns $163,099.

Akinwumi has thirty years of experience in banking.


He is happily married to Grace Adesina. They tied the knot in 1984 and they have two children, Rotimi and Grace.

In 2019, he  renewed his vow to his wife, he said “I will marry you thirty-five times over”.

Religious Life

While at Purdue University, Adesina and his wife, along with another couple, started a Christian group called the African Student Fellowship.

Adesina’s speech

Adesina in a speech at the annual conference of the Institute Of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN), in Abuja,  said ” leaders must not only be accountable, but they must also live simply. Power is not judged by wealth, but by transforming the loves of people. To earn the trust of people, we as leaders, must create wealth for the people and not personal wealth”.

Undoubtedly, Adesina Akinwumi is a paragon of diligence, honesty, humility, patient, hard work and humanity.

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