African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina, who won the 2019 Sunhak Peace Prize Laureate, donates the prize money to the hungry people in Africa.
Adesina and co-Laureate Waris Dirie, a global champion against Female Genital Mutilation, shared the prestigious $1million dollar prize at an award ceremony held on 9 February 2019 in Seoul, South Korea.
“We are in a race with time to unlock the full potential of Africa. My life is only useful to the extent that it helps to lift millions of people out of poverty,” said Adesina, announcing that he has decided to donate his $500,000 share of the prize to fighting hunger in Africa.
“There is tremendous suffering going on in the world. While progress is being made, we are not winning the war on global hunger. There cannot be peace in a world that is hungry. Hunger persists in regions and places going through conflicts, wars and fragility. Those who suffer the most are women and children,” he said during the award ceremony.
Waris Dirie, has played a leading role in drawling global attention to the fight and against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), and the need for legislation to ban the practice. “Female Genital Mutilation scars victims physically, emotionally, and mentally,” Dirie said.
The World Health Organisation estimates that more than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where female gentile mutilation (FGM) is carried out on young girls between infancy and the age 15. Adesina who believes a peaceful world will be a food secure world, pointed out that only 1% of the world’s richest own 50% of global wealth.
“There must be accountability to the poor. We must reduce global income inequality. We need wealth, yes, but we need wealth for everyone not just a few. Today, the poor are stuck and only end up eating crumbs, if any at all, that fall from the tables of the rich. This sense of exclusion and lack of equity or fairness often drives conflicts. We have an opportunity to reverse the situation through sustainable agriculture as a business, and not as an aid program,” Adesenia told the participants of the ceremony.
More than 1,000 influences from over the world including current and former heads of state and government, private sector leaders, investors, and development experts, attended the SunHak Peace Prize and the Peace Summit of Global Leaders.
Each year, the SunHak Peace Prize honors an individual or organization making significant contributions to global peace and the welfare of mankind.