…the First Female Professor of Agricultural Economics in Africa
Professor Tomilayo Adekanye is the first female Professor of Agriculture in Nigeria, and first female Professor of Agricultural Economics in Africa. She commenced her university teaching career as staff member of Department of Agricultural Economics, Obafemi Awolowo University (then University of Ife) between 1966 and 1975. She moved subsequently to University of Ibadan\’s Department of Agricultural Economics, as Lecturer I (1975) rising there steadily through the rank of Senior Lecturer (1977), Associate Professor (Reader) in 1980 to full position of Professor in 1983.
Professor Adekanye took early and voluntary retirement from her Ibadan teaching job in 2003, to set up and run a private non-governmental research and training body called the Centre for Gender, for Government and Development (CEGGAD) that also became platform for mobilising women\’s groups from the southwest to get involved in the country\’s politics. She returned into active teaching and research in 2007 when she took up a contract employment in the Department of Agricultural Economics & Extension, Kogi State University, Anyigba.
Her direct involvement in policy-making began with invitation by the old Oyo State Government for her to be Chairperson of the Committee on Women and Development set up by the State Ministry of Social Development in 1978-88. This was followed by her being made Chairperson of Committee on Better Life for the Rural Women Programme, Oyo State Government between 1988-90, and later with her appointment into the Cabinet of Oyo State Government between 1989-91.
She also served in the latter capacity as the Commissioner, first of the State Ministry of Agriculture & Natural Resources, later of the State Ministry Commerce & Industry, and lastly of the State Ministry of Information and Culture. She has also consulted widely for the various Departments and Programmes of the Federal Ministries of Agriculture, Rural Development, Water Resources, and Women\’s Affairs at the national level, and with numerous organisations and agencies mostly within the United Nations system.
Organizations and agencies with which she has previously consulted at the international level include ECA, ILO, FAO, IFAD, UNDP, UNICEF, UNIFEM, and Ford Foundation. She has also authored several books on Agriculture, such as: Women in Agriculture in Nigeria (Addis, ECA, 1981), Women in Agriculture (Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, 1988), Readings in Agricultural Marketing (Ibadan, Longman, 1988), African Women in Agriculture (Ibadan, CEGGAD, 2004), and some 75 other publications contributed as chapters in books, articles in peer-reviewed and learned journals; monographs and technical reports.
Professor Tomi Adekanye specializes and writes on problems of agricultural production, marketing, demand analysis, consumer studies, collection and uses of agricultural price data, etc. she has also created awareness and mobilized for grassroots supports on HIV/AIDS prevention, food security and poverty alleviation. For several years, she has been organized training for women on environmental economics and sustainable agriculture.
DAWN Commission celebrates you, Professor Tomi Adekanye.
You are a trailblazer and an Akinkanju.