AfDB President, Three Others Win Distinguished Fellowship Award

Dr Akinwumi Adesina, the President of African Development Bank (AfDB), has been named winner of Academy of Public Health’s 2020 Distinguished Fellowship Award.

The fellows are awarded for “making a difference in the lives of people and inspiring young leaders to also excel in their public health work,” the academy stated.

Also named alongside Adesina as winners of the Distinguished Fellowship Award are three others – World Health Organisation (WHO)’s Tedros Ghebreyesus; Leith Greenslade of JustActions; and Winnie Byanyima of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.

The academy, a principal body of the West African Institute of Public Health, stated that the recipients were nominated by young public health professionals across Africa.

They were nominated for their demonstrated leadership in working to ensure equity, better health and wellbeing for all.

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A statement from the academy on Wednesday said the four have been recognised for their style of transformative leadership which inspires emerging young leaders in public health to strive to make a difference in their work.

“Dr Akinwumi Adesina of the African Development Bank was particularly recognised for his action leadership in quickly moving the AfDB to provide the financial bulwark to the African Union as well as some of its member states to help curb Africa’s COVID-19 pandemic.

“He was also noted for engendering thought leadership through the AfDB to shape actions in the COVID and post COVID era for Africa’s economies and health systems,” the academy stated.

“I am greatly honoured to be selected to receive the Distinguished Fellowship of the West African Academy of Public Health together with Dr Tedros, Winnie Byanyima and Leith Greenslade!“

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“Africa and the rest of the world will overcome this pandemic against all odds,” Adesina said.

Ghebreyesus won for leading the WHO to provide an equity-focused COVID-19 response that leaves no one behind.

This included his approaches towards eliminating “vaccine nationalism” in the wake of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Greenslade was recognised for leading a global awareness on childhood pneumonia, leveraging on public-private and philanthropic partnerships.

Also, Byanyima was chosen for her “unwavering” work to ensure that HIV/AIDS key populations impacted by COVID-19 are not forgotten.

The academy stated that a ceremony to honour the recipients would be held in 2021, adding that the recipients were being notified of their recognition and date for a virtual investiture.

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The Distinguished Fellowship Award is the highest fellowship rank in the “Roll of Fellows” of the academy, leading the Roll of Fellows for their exceptional leadership and service to humanity, according to the institution.

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