22 February 2012

Rwanda: Kagame to Address IFAD

Photo: Kate Holt/Irin
A woman works on her rice farm in Kaduna State, Nigeria.

President Paul Kagame, arrived in Rome yesterday where he is expected to address the annual meeting of the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD).

In a keynote speech to representatives from IFAD member countries, Kagame will outline Rwanda's experience in modernising agriculture, which has led to achieving food security in recent years.

He will also talk about the need to support smallholder farmers in developing countries in order to increase food production and protect the environment, according to officials.

Italian Premier Prime Minister, Mario Monti, and American billionaire Bill Gates, are also scheduled to speak at the meeting in which 167 representative of member states from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), other developing countries and the organisation for economic co-operation and development (OECD) will participate.

Kagame and the President of IFAD, Kanayo F. Nwanze, will take part in a joint press conference following the opening ceremony.

The meeting will bring together development leaders and Heads of State and government. It is the 35th session of the Governing Council, the annual meeting of the highest decision-making body of IFAD.

IFAD has financed 14 rural development programmes and projects in Rwanda since 1981, for a total amount of $189.8 million, with the overall objective of empowering poor rural people to participate in transforming the agricultural sector.

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