Akinwumi Adesina aims to "unleash Africa's full potential"

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The President of the African Development Bank, also winner of the 2019 Sunhak peace prize, Akinwumi Adesina donated its 500 000 dollar prize to the fight against hunger in Africa. 

Winner of the 2019 Sunhak peace prize, Akinwumi Adesina undertook, on February 11, 2019 in Seoul, South Korea, to redouble its efforts in support of Africa's struggle to eradicate hunger, poverty and youth unemployment. The President of the African Development Bank and his co-laureate Waris Dirie, who has made himself known worldwide for his fight against female genital mutilation, share the prestigious prize of one million dollars, presented at a ceremony held on 9 February in Seoul, the South Korean capital.

"We are engaged in a race against the clock to unleash Africa's full potential," Adesina said. Recognized internationally for its steadfast determination to reduce global poverty, Adesina added: "my life only makes sense to the extent that it contributes to the release of millions of people from poverty."

Mr. Adesina immediately announced that he was donating his share of the reward of 500 000 dollars to the fight against hunger in Africa.

"The world is experiencing tremendous suffering. Despite all the progress made, we are far from winning the war on hunger in the world. Peace is impossible in a world that is hungry. Hunger continues to plague regions and places plagued by conflicts and wars, or in situations of fragility. Those who suffer most are women and children, "Adesina said at the awards ceremony.

Waris Dirie has played a major role in drawing the world's attention to the fight against female genital mutilation and the need to enact laws that prohibit them.

"Female genital mutilation marks their victims with physical, emotional and mental scars," Ms. Dirie launched.

More than 200 million girls and women today are excised, in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, where female genital mutilation is practised on girls between early childhood and the age of 15, according to the world Organization of health.

Convinced that the establishment of peace in the world will go through food security, Adesina stressed that 1% of the world's richest population alone holds 50% of the planet's wealth.

"There is nothing more important than making sure that we can feed the world and eliminate hunger and malnutrition. Hunger is an ignominy for the human species. An economy that claims to be growing without feeding its population is a failing economy. No one should be hungry, whatever its skin color – white, black, pink, Orange, etc., whatever. "

The President of the African Development Bank told the participants, among whom were several international leaders: "we must be accountable to the poor. We need to reduce wage inequality in the world. Certainly, we need riches, but we need it for everyone, not just for a few. Today, the poor are at a standstill and receive at best the crumbs that fall from the table of the rich. This sense of exclusion and lack of fairness or equality often lead to conflict. We have the opportunity to reverse the situation through sustainable agriculture, which is a commercial activity and not in the form of a programme of assistance. "

More than 1 000 people of influence from all over the world, including current or former heads of State and Government, private sector leaders, investors and development experts, were present at this presentation of the Sunhak Prize for peace and the Summit of world leaders for peace. Each year, the Sunhak peace prize pays tribute to a person or organization that contributes notoriously to peace in the world and to the well-being of mankind.

Moctar FICOU/VivAfrik

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