ICT on the Agenda for AfDB Presidential Candidate
Akinwumi Adesina, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development has made great strides for the country’s agricultural sector. His successes include solving corruption in the fertilizer industry and encouraging banks to lend to farmers.
In 2012, he pioneered an e-wallet system, which has since attracted attention from investor countries such as Brazil, China and India, as well as other states who wish to implement the system. Now, more than 14 million farmers have used this system, earning Adesina the Forbes 2013 African of the Year Award.
Adesina is currently running for president of the AfDB. If he receives this post, he plans to support the private sector, particularly small and medium enterprises. He believes this will improve employment and entrepreneurial prospects for youth and women, another area on which he will focus. He will employ a gender scorecard to make sure banks make loans in a gender equal way as well as an “African women empowerment index.”
Finally, he will further develop regional ICT innovation centers, encourage banks to provide venture capital to young entrepreneurs, and work towards greater ICT connectivity on the continent.