National Bar Association honors Akinwumi Adesina with Ronald Harmon Brown Distinguished Award of International Distinction

The President of the African Development Bank Group (, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has received the prestigious Ronald Harmon Brown Award of International Distinction from the National Bar Association, USA.

The award is named in honor of Ron Brown, the first African American to chair a major American political party and the first African American to serve as Secretary of Commerce.

Other recipients include NBA Chief Policy Officer Alicia Hughes, who received the organization’s highest honor; Hajia Alima Mahama, Ambassador of the Republic of Ghana to the United States; and Kamil Olufowobi, CEO, Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD).

The black-tie gala brought together more than 800 black lawyers, including 20 former presidents of the National Bar Association and several elected officials. A lively fireside chat between National Bar Association President Carlos Moore and Fred Gray, 91, legendary chief lawyer of the civil rights protest movement, set the stage for the night.

Moore cited Adesina’s transformative role as head of the African Development Bank and as Nigeria’s former agriculture minister.

Upon receiving the award, Adesina hailed the late Ron Brown as an inspirational figure who believed “every idea was an impossibility, until it was born”.

As President of the African Development Bank Group, Adesina said he and his team set out to accomplish what seemed impossible. This included the largest general capital raise ever in the bank’s history, from $93 billion to $208 billion; a transformative High5 development strategy that has reached 335 million Africans in six years; and the creation of the Africa Investment Forum, the continent’s premier investment marketplace, which attracted $110 billion in investment interest in Africa, over three years.

In 2021, the African Development Bank was ranked the best multilateral financial institution in the world. In 2022, the African Development Bank was ranked the most transparent institution in the world, by Publish what you fundin terms of its sovereign operations.

Adesina, who dedicated the award to his wife Grace, “his inspiration and greatest support”, said: “I thank all my staff and the management of the Bank for their exceptional work, as well as our Board of Directors for his incredible support. They bring our ideas to life. They turn impossibilities into possibilities.

The National Bar Association was founded in 1925 and is the oldest and largest national network of predominantly African-American lawyers and judges. It represents the interests of approximately 65,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students. The NBA is organized around 23 substantive law sections, 10 divisions, 12 regions, and 80 affiliated chapters in the United States and around the world.

Distributed by APO Group for the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group.

Media Contact:
Victor Oladokun
Senior Advisor to the President
[email protected]

About the African Development Bank Group:
The African Development Bank Group is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). Present in 41 African countries with an external office in Japan, the Bank contributes to the economic development and social progress of its 54 regional member states. For more information:

This press release was issued by APO. Content is not vetted by the African Business editorial team and none of the content has been verified or validated by our editorial teams, proofreaders or fact checkers. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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