The African Development Bank (AfDB) will spend US $24 billion dollars in agriculture as part of its Feed Africa programme — a strategy for agricultural development in Africa. According to the president of the Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, said this in a speech he delivered at the 50th anniversary celebration of the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, Nigeria.
The President highlighted that the plan of the Bank is to “ensure that Africa feeds itself within ten years, and unlocks the full potential of its agriculture.”
The Institute recognized Adesina’s massive contributions to improving agriculture and named a newly constructed building after him. The $700,000 Akinwumi Adesina Youth Agripreneurs Building is a new training facility for capacity development for young agriculture entrepreneurs, funded by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and IITA. The training facility comprises two major training rooms that can accommodate 50 trainees each, two big offices for 30 interns each, and 20 standard sized offices.
According to the president, said “he was humbled and deeply appreciative of the opportunity to lend my name to this well-equipped building which will be used by young Agripreneurs to learn, set up and launch their own businesses, and create a prosperous living for themselves, their families and those they will employ.”
The President re-affirmed he belief that the future millionaires and billionaires of Africa will arise from the agriculture sector. “Africa is today spending $35 billion a year importing food. That is $35 billion that should be kept on the continent. This is a $35 billion market that young people can tap into to create new wealth each year. To do that requires totally changing the lenses with which we look at agriculture. Agriculture should no longer be seen as a way of life or a development sector, but rather as a business for wealth creation,” he emphasized.