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Dr Adesina of the AFDB awarded the Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership, making him the fourth recipient

Dr Adesina to receive prestigious biennial award and join select group including Dr Wole Soyinka and Thabo Mbeki.

The President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina, becomes the fourth winner of the highly prestigious and much sought after Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership.

The Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership set up in April 1992 is dedicated to immortalising the democratic and development-oriented ideals of Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

Chief Awolowo, (1909 – 1987 played a key role in Nigeria’s independence movement and was renowned as a man of deep integrity and discipline.

Previous winners of the award include: Nobel Laureate Prof Wole Soyinka (2012), former President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki (2014), and lawyer-educationist Chief Afe Babalola (2018).

Many nominations of eminent personalities who have made tremendous contributions in various spheres of life were received by the organisation and after a careful, detailed and rigorous screening process, Dr Adesina emerged as the unanimous choice of a selection panel made up of distinguished Nigerians.

The prize not only confers considerable honour and recognition on the recipient, but also serves as a strong incentive to persons to pursue excellence in leadership and good governance.

A statement from the chairman of the award selection committee said: “Since assuming office as President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Adesina has worked relentlessly to contribute to the positive transformation of the continent. He has brought leadership to bear in addressing some of the challenges confronting the continent including leading and supporting innovative efforts to fight hunger and poverty.”

Commenting on the announcement, Goodluck Jonathan, the former President of Nigeria said “Adesina epitomises and combines qualities of extraordinary leadership that are often rare. He has the ability to take on huge and difficult challenges. He is committed to deliver policies and programmes that transform the lives of millions of people.”

The former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said: “Adesina’s contributions to the African continent and global leadership have been exceptional. The African Development Bank has addressed some of the greatest challenges of our time.”

Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, President Emeritus of the World Food Prize Foundation, saluted Adesina’s commitment to food security and in providing critical financing for a broad array of infrastructure projects so critical to development and modernisation.

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “I can think of no person more highly qualified or deserving of this prestigious award. Dr Adesina is forged in the same mould as Chief Obafemi Awolowo, a shining example of leadership.

The award will be formally presented at the Lagos Continental Hotel on the 6th of March 2024. Many great personalities, including the President of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu,  the President of United Republic of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu Hassan and former Head of State and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Ọbafẹmi Awolọwọ Foundation, General Yakubu Gowon, are expected to grace the 2023 Obafemi Awolowo Prize For Leadership ceremony.

Three distinguished personalities had been conferred with the prestigious Award: Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, and the founder of the Afe Babalola University, Aare Afe Babalola.

Expressing his appreciation for the Award and being in the company of the three previous eminent recipients, Dr Adesina said he was delighted and honoured to have been selected as a recipient of the prestigious award.

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