• Monday, May 27, 2024
businessday logo


Pioneering Progress: A visionary’s approach to securing and nourishing Africa

Pioneering Progress: A visionary’s approach to securing and nourishing Africa


In an illuminating session with Major Adebayo Adeleke, a seasoned expert in security and supply chain management, we delved into a variety of topics that revealed the profound impact of technology on modern Africa. From his military upbringing to his influential roles in several tech-centric businesses, Major Adeleke’s insights offer a compelling view of the nexus between technology, supply chain management, and food security. This discussion not only highlighted the challenges faced but also showcased the strategic interventions needed to propel Africa, particularly Nigeria, towards sustainable development.

Celebrating a Visionary Tech-Actor:

Major Adebayo Adeleke’s diverse endeavours, from RouteWatche to Supply Chain Africa, and his pivotal role in the establishment of a multi-billion-dollar research center in Ladoke Akintola University, underscore his commitment to leveraging technology for broad societal benefit. His story is one of inspiration showing how technological acumen, when coupled with strategic vision, can address some of Africa’s most pressing challenges.

Deep Dive: Security, Supply Chain, and Food Production in Africa

The Current Scenario in Nigerian Agriculture:

Nigeria, blessed with a rich tapestry of arable land, is paradoxically marred by food insecurity issues. The country’s agricultural sector, which employs a large portion of the population, faces numerous challenges:

  • Aging Farmer Population: A significant number of Nigerian farmers are above 60 years. This demographic trend poses a sustainability issue, as fewer young people are entering the agricultural sector, deterred by the hard labour and low profitability associated with traditional farming practices.
  • Youth Disengagement: There is a noticeable disinterest among the youth in farming, largely due to its perceived lack of innovation and technology use. This is compounded by the allure of urban jobs which are often viewed as more prestigious and financially rewarding.
  • Post-Harvest Losses: Nigeria experiences one of the highest rates of post-harvest losses in sub-Saharan Africa, attributed largely to inadequate storage and poor logistics infrastructure. These losses not only diminish farmers’ income but also contribute to food scarcity.
  • Security Concerns: The agricultural sector is severely impacted by security issues such as land disputes, theft, and more alarmingly, insurgent attacks, particularly in regions like the Northeast. These security challenges discourage investment in agriculture and disrupt the supply chains that are vital for food distribution.

Government’s Role and Strategic Policy Implementation:

Addressing these multifaceted challenges requires an assertive governmental response coupled with strategic policy implementation:

  • Policy Frameworks: Nigeria needs robust policy frameworks that are directly targeted at modernizing agriculture. This includes providing subsidies for modern farming equipment and introducing incentives for adopting innovative farming technologies. Furthermore, policies should support the use of AI in agriculture to enhance productivity and efficiency.
  • Infrastructure Development: Improving infrastructure is critical. The government should prioritize the development of roads, irrigation systems, and logistics networks that connect rural production areas with urban markets. Investing in reliable and sustainable energy sources will also improve storage facilities, crucial for reducing post-harvest losses.
  • Security Enhancements: Strengthening security in agricultural regions is essential for ensuring that farming can be conducted without the threat of disruption. This could involve increasing patrols in vulnerable areas, implementing community policing initiatives, and employing technology for better surveillance.
  • Educational Initiatives: To attract the younger generation to agriculture, Nigeria must integrate agriculture-focused curriculums in schools and universities that highlight modern agricultural practices and the economic opportunities they present. Scholarships and internship programmes with agribusinesses can also motivate students to pursue careers in agriculture.

The Potential of AI in Agriculture:

While discussing AI’s role, Major Adeleke emphasized its transformative potential but cautioned that it should be integrated within a comprehensive strategy that includes policy support, education, and infrastructure. AI applications could revolutionize Nigerian agriculture in several ways:

  • Crop Monitoring and Management: AI can help monitor crop health and soil conditions, providing farmers with actionable insights that can lead to better crop management decisions.
  • Predictive Analytics: By analyzing data on weather patterns, crop cycles, and market demands, AI can help predict the best times for planting and harvesting, optimizing yields and reducing waste.
  • Supply Chain Optimization: AI can streamline supply chain logistics, from predictive maintenance of transport vehicles to route optimization and market connectivity, reducing costs and improving market access for farmers.

The integration of advanced technologies such as AI, supported by targeted governmental actions and policy frameworks, could not only solve the pressing issues of food security in Nigeria but also set a precedent for agricultural innovation across Africa.

A Call to Watch and Learn:

Major Adeleke’s insights are a must-watch for anyone interested in the intersection of technology and development. Readers are encouraged to watch the full interview on YouTube to gain a deeper understanding of his views and the innovative solutions he proposes for Africa’s future. Major Adeleke stands as a beacon of innovation and dedication in the tech community. His efforts to integrate advanced technology into security and supply chain frameworks, and his push for systemic governmental changes, highlight a path forward for Nigeria and Africa at large. As we celebrate his achievements and insights, it becomes clear that with the right leadership and commitment, Africa can surmount its challenges and usher in an era of food security and economic prosperity.

Tech Actor of the Week Profile: Adebayo Adeleke

Meet Adebayo Adeleke, our Tech Actor of the Week, a serial entrepreneur and founder of RouteWatche, Supply Chain Africa, and Adebayo Adeleke LLC. Known for his innovative approach to technology, Adebayo’s RouteWatche platform addresses critical issues like kidnapping, child trafficking, and gender violence by leveraging real-time, crowdsourced data and geographic-specific intelligence. This groundbreaking application enhances community safety by facilitating efficient emergency responses, setting new standards in data-driven security solutions.

In addition to his technological achievements, Adebayo brings a wealth of experience from his 20 years of service as a combat veteran in the United States Army, where he developed deep insights into risk management, security dynamics, and strategic leadership. He currently serves as the President and CEO of Adebayo Adeleke LLC, a consultancy specializing in supply chain management, where he champions diversity and inclusion alongside global giants like Facebook and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS).

Adebayo’s commitment to education and empowerment extends beyond his professional endeavours. He founded the Rising Leadership Foundation, a non-profit organization aimed at transforming governance and leadership through technology and mentoring, specifically targeting African immigrants and inner-city youths. His academic achievements include a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Maryland and three master’s degrees in Administration Leadership, Supply Chain Management and Procurement, and Acquisition Management.

Recently, Adebayo spearheaded a significant partnership involving Supply Chain Africa and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), leading to a $4.5 million project to establish a research and innovation center in Ogbomoso, Nigeria. This initiative aims to solve complex supply chain challenges and establish Africa as a leader in the field. Adebayo Adeleke’s impressive blend of leadership, innovation, and commitment to social impact continues to inspire and make a measurable difference in communities across the globe.