Former Commonwealth Secretary-General Emeka Anyaoku has presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to the African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina, describing him and the Bank’s work as “ legendary, unprecedented and worthy of emulation.”
The Hallmarks of Labour Foundation presented the Outstanding International Icon Award to Adesina at a ceremony held in Lagos on October 6th.
The Hallmarks of Labour Foundation is a non-profit that recognizes Africans who have achieved success through hard work, honesty, integrity, and justice in every field of human endeavour. Previous beneficiaries of the award include Ibrahim Gambari, former first Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Africa, Bolaji Akinyemi and Hon. Justice Adolphus Karibi-White.
Thanking the foundation for the recognition, Adesina said that the African Development Bank had helped 181 million people directly through its investments in the past four years
“There is still much to do. We have gone some way, climbing the steep mountainside of Africa’s development, yet there’s still a long way to go until we reach the mountaintop,” he told the gathering of top government officials, industry leaders, and diplomats.
The Bank has connected 16 million people to electricity and provided 70 million people with improved agricultural technologies to achieve food security. The African Development Bank also gave 9 million people access to finance from private sector companies, provided 55 million people access to improved transport, and 31 million people with water and sanitation.
Adesina congratulated his fellow awardees and urged them to be relentless in their efforts to build humanity.
“Recognition is never the expectation or endgame when you are passionate about your work. But when one’s modest contributions and efforts are found worthy of honor, it is both a surprise and a delight,” he noted.