The New Times (Kigali)

African Ministers to Meet in DRC

Africa's finance ministers and central bank governors are expected to meet in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo to seek solutions to pressing issues like food security, job creation and energy access among others that are seen as major drivers for economic development.

The meeting will be held under the auspices of the Africa Caucus, a platform created in 2002 bringing together policymakers from African countries that subscribe to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to discuss with the two institutions pressing issues to development.

As keynote speaker, Kandeh K. Yumkella, the Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), will speak about how agriculture can be boosted on the continent.

Yumkella, an agricultural economist, is a strong advocate for pro-poor sustainable industrial and agribusiness development as a means of wealth and job creation and the economic empowerment of the poor.

He argues that a new agricultural development policy is needed to meet the economic and social development needs of the continent.

This new approach calls specifically for moving away from subsistence farming to the use of modern technologies and agro-industrials that promote mechanization.

His passion for energy and environment-related issues has enabled him to lead UN Energy and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Sustainable Energy for All initiative (SE4All).

Through his leadership and efforts in meeting with world leaders and their governments, multilateral development banks among others, he was instrumental in securing USD 50b to promote universal access to energy, increasing energy efficiency and enhancing the deployment of renewable sources of energy in support of his boss energy access initiative.

President Joseph Kabila will formally open the Caucus meetings which will take place on August 1-2, 2012.

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