Dr Kanayo Nwanze has been adjudged the winner of the inaugural ‘Africa Food Prize’ award. He was awarded for his courageous leadership in fostering solidarity with Africa’s small-scale farmer.
The Nigerian national who is also the president of Rome-based International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) takes home $100,000 worth prize. He received his award during a ceremony at the African Green Revolution Forum in Nairobi, Kenya.
The event was attended by Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta and his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame in the presence of former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo.
Dr Nwanze is a model for how a great leader can make a difference in the lives of people on the ground.
According to Obasanjo, Chairperson of the Prize Committee, “Dr Nwanze is a model for how a great leader can make a difference in the lives of people on the ground.
“Whether that leader is the head of a global institution, a head of state or a head of small organization, Dr Nwanze’s accomplishments on behalf of African farmers are a reminder of what’s possible when you combine passion, good ideas, commitment, focus, hard work and dedication,” he added.
The award recognized the efforts of Dr Nwanze in championing the cause of the small-scale African farmer and going beyond promises to delivering plans and programs aimed at empowering these farmers.
The organizers were particularly pleased about hos under his leadership at IFAD, Dr Nwanze was transforming the small-scale farming landscape across the continent.
‘‘Despite a major global economic downturn, he succeeded in growing the Fund’s overall resources, with significant increases in commitments from member states.
‘‘As a result of this overall increase in IFAD’s portfolio of loans and grants, its ongoing investments in Africa more than doubled – from US$1.3 billion at the start of Nwanze’s tenure to $2.7 billion in 2015 – benefiting more than 75 million rural people,’‘ a statement read.
About the Africa Food Prize
The Africa Food Prize is a leading award for recognizing outstanding individuals or institutions that are leading efforts to change the reality of farming in Africa from a struggle to survive to a business that thrives.
The US$100,000 prize celebrates Africans who are taking control of Africa’s agricultural agenda. It is funded by Africa Green Revolution Alliance (AGRA), the EcoNet Foundation, and Yara International ASA (Yara).
It puts a bright spotlight on bold initiatives and technical innovations that can be replicated across the continent to create a new era of food security and economic opportunity for all Africans.
The winners are selected by an independent panel of distinguished experts in African agriculture, chaired by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The Africa Food Prize began as the Yara Prize, established by Yara in 2005. It was moved to Africa and rechristened the Africa Food Prize in 2016.