Kigali, 21 February 2012

President Kagame arrived in Rome today where he will address the annual meeting of the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) on Wednesday. In a keynote speech to representatives from IFAD member countries, President Kagame will outline Rwanda’s experience in modernising agriculture, which has led to achieving food security in recent years; as well as the need to support smallholder farmers in developing countries in order to increase food production and protect the environment.

Prime Minister Mario Monti and Bill Gates are scheduled to speak at the meeting in which 167 representative of member states from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Other Developing Countries and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will participate.

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

IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized UN agency based in Rome – the United Nation’s food and agricultural hub. Since 1981, IFAD has financed 14 rural development programmes and projects in Rwanda for a total amount of US$189.8 million, with the overall objective of empowering poor rural people to participate in transforming the agricultural sector.