Dr Akinwumi Adesina, the President of African Development Bank (AfDB) has won 2019 African of the Year Award by African Leadership Magazine in South Africa.
In a speech delivered by the publisher of the magazine, Ken Giami and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday described Adesina as Africa’s developer-in-chief.
The African Leadership Persons of the Year Investiture Ceremonies and Awards Gala night took place at Johannesburg, South Africa on Saturday.
Giami explained that the winner of the award emerged through vigorous and transparent processes across the continent.
He said this year’s edition, which was the 8th in the series, attracted over 300,000 votes and a remarkable 2.2million engagements across various social media platforms continent wide, roughly a 35 per cent increase from the 2018 edition.
“We are very happy with the growing involvement of Africans from all shades of thought in the selection process, and we trust that it will continue to grow.
“We also want to very specially celebrate the winner of our 2019 African of the Year Award, Adesina, President of AfDB whose image as Africa’s developer-in-chief, Africa’s investment mobiliser-in-chief, and Africa’s optimist in-Chief is both legendary and game-changing for the continent.
“They have secured for themselves, a place in the Africa’s best 11 team. We are very proud of the work they do, and are happy to be identified with them” the publisher said.
In his remarks, Adesina commended the management of the magazine for the recognition and honour done him.
“To say that I feel humbled is an understatement. Humbled to be recognised for my very modest achievements and contributions to Africa.
“Humbled to be nominated by what I gather to be the 60 per cent of the votes cast by some one million people. Humbled to be at the helm of an organisation that is making a tremendous difference across Africa.
“Humbled to be an African, and to be recognised by one’s own. Honoured to be on this platform on account of the voices of the people” he said.
He however dedicated the award to his wife, to all his staff and colleagues in the bank.
“I also dedicate this award to all those I have worked with my entire life, to Nigeria which always gave me air in my lungs, to all African countries, and to all Heads of State and governments across Africa, for their unrelenting support.
“I dedicate this award to the young mothers, struggling to bring up
a child, to the farmer in search of a better tomorrow, to the youth of Africa longing for a better future, and to Africa’s journalists who risk their lives in helping to tell Africa’s true story.
“And I dedicate this award to you all, who voted for me, because you believed in me and wanted to encourage me. Your votes got me here today”