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Yemisi and Akin Adesina

Oluyemisi Adesina (Yemisi) is our most determined family member. She is married to Akinwumi (Akin) Adesina of the reputable family of the Adesinas of Ijebu Igbo, Nigeria. "AkinYemisi" is their nick-name. They have two boys and Akin, who holds a PhD from Purdue, is the Southern Africa Country Representative for The Rockefeller Foundation.

Hear what Yemisi has to say about themselves, the USA, Nigeria and the rest of the world:

"We are a very mobile family, having lived in U.S., India, Mali, Cote d'Ivoire, Cameroon and back again in U.S., on to Zimbabwe and now in Nairobi, all within the last 15 years"

"Akin has been promoted to Resident Representative for Southern Africa at the Rockefeller Foundation, and heads the Southern Africa Office of the Foundation. In addition to his responsibilities for managing food security programs in the region, he is also working on an exploration on 'Africa Renewal', with the objective of helping Africa think through a vision for its economic, social and political renewal in a global economy. Akin enjoys his work and its intensive travels".

Hear what Akin has to say on his pet subject of African Renewal:

"Africa is gone to the dogs. That is the usual Afro-pessimism that Africa faces. But this is not true. There are so many positive things happening in Africa. Democracy is taking root in over 40 plus countries. Over the past 10 years, Africa has witnessed the highest economic growth rates - higher than the Asian countries. But despite all these, private capital inflows continue to be in trickles.

 "I agree with Thabo Mbeki that this is Africa's time -what he calls 'Africa Renaissance'. But to achieve that renaissance requires more than words, or simply having dancing carnivals.

There is need for a collective vision to achieve the renewal of the continent.

Africa and Africans must take pride in themselves and turn their economies around - that is number one priority. It will require strategic thinking and solid political commitment.

"We must make Africa a place that our children and generations to come will be proud of. This generation has a responsibility to turn around the continent. Then the next generation will sing of us as heroes that redeemed the pride of the continent and made it one respected in the league of nations. I want my grandchildren and great grandchildren to remember our generation as those that dared take the high road to the continent's recovery. It does not take brain surgery, all it needs is vision, dedication, commitment and a solid economic plan.

"In this global age, knowledge is power, so Africa needs to invest in knowledge for development. It is unfortunate to see Africa wasting its resources. But I am convinced that our time has come. We stand at the threshold of history with a sense of destiny. We cannot fail.

"My father used to tell me growing up that 'strike the iron while it is hot'. That applies to Africa today. The iron has been hot for 40 years. We need to strike and then mould it into a jewel. I hope that by dialogue with leaders in Africa, we would be able to inspire a sense of hope and purpose to make this century 'The Africa Century' as Kofi Annan says.

"More than ever, I am more focused on this mission in every aspect of my work and life. It is one worth living for, working for, and seeing in my life time!. I am first an African, and that guides me in all I do. I am very proud to be an African and no sacrifice is too great for the continent of my fathers and mothers!"

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