The African Development Bank President recalled his work in Uganda as the Associate Director of the Rockefeller Foundation, when he engaged the University faculty members in undertaking research on food technologies.
The Makerere University has awarded Dr Akinwumi Adesina,
President of the African Development Bank, with an Honorary Doctorate degree in
recognition of his distinguished contribution to Africa’s transformation and
contribution to science, research and academic leadership.
The Bank President received the prestigious award of the
Honorary Doctor of Letters during the University’s fifth session of the 71st graduation
ceremony held in Kampala.
“I will cherish this Honorary Doctorate from Makerere University
as it will always bring back for me great memories of my work and partnership
with the university,” Adesina said in his acceptance speech.
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Dr Adesina was feted for supporting scientists and researchers
at the University’s Food Technology Department, helping to innovate in the
production of shelf-stable flour produced from the national staple, the
bananas, which could be turned into mashed banana meal known locally as the
The Bank President recalled his work in Uganda as the Associate
Director of the Rockefeller Foundation, when he engaged the University faculty
members in undertaking research on food technologies.
The work done on the banana tissue culture, which was geared
towards making the banana plantations in Uganda much more economically
productive and disease-free also earned Dr Adesina accolades.
Adesina said farmers across Uganda were supported to access the
tissue-cultured bananas through a financing program which he helped to set up.
The programme was scaled up by the Centenary Rural Development Bank, and none
of the farmers who received the loans defaulted in their payments.
The Doctorate award in recognition of Dr Adesina’s distinguished
contribution to science, research and academic leadership has also been
replicated in the Bank’s innovative financing to agriculture.
The University acknowledged the Bank President’s contribution
towards catalyzing Africa’s social and economic progress, helping to build
partnerships, networks and advocacy for Africa’s development.
In 2019, the African Development Bank invested US$96 million in
the Higher Education and Science and Technology Project, which benefited the
The Chairperson of Makerere University Council, Rhona Magara hailed Dr Akinumi Adesina for his selfless efforts in supporting development work in Uganda and Africa.
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The University was able to construct central teaching
facilities with a holding capacity of 1,000 students, including auditoriums and
seminar rooms from US$26 million which was part of the project funded by the
Dr Adesina recalled that some of the University programs have
grown into world-class programs attracting collaborators from various
Dr Adesina acknowledged the contribution of distinguished
scholars including Professor Bernard Bashasha, Principal of the College of Agriculture
and Environmental Sciences for advancing research in the field.
The Bank President urged the University to
work towards increasing the number of female students enrolling for masters and
PhD programs saying Africa’s development would accelerate with more women in
positions of leadership