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About the event

The Governing Council is IFAD’s main decision-making body. It consists of all of IFAD’s Member States and meets annually.

The forty-fourth session, taking place on 17 and 18 February 2021, will focus on the overarching theme Rural development: a prerequisite for global resilience. The lessons of the COVID-19 crisis provide an opportunity to reflect on current development approaches and reconfirm that IFAD’s model has provided solutions to build a better rural future.

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Speakers

Opening Session
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Gilbert F. Houngbo

President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
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Gilbert F. Houngbo

President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
Gilbert F. Houngbo became the sixth President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on 1 April 2017. Born and raised in rural Togo, Houngbo has spent more than 30 years working to improve the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people, with extensive experience in political affairs, international development, diplomacy and financial management.
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H.E. Imran Khan

Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
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H.E. Imran Khan

Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
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H.E. João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço

President of the Republic of Angola
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H.E. João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço

President of the Republic of Angola
João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço was elected President of the Republic of Angola in 2017. Among several positions, he was Governor of the provinces of Moxico and Benguela, National Political Director for the Angolan Armed Forces, Secretary General and Vice-President of the MPLA, first Vice-President of the National Parliament and Minister of National Defence. In addition to his military training at a Superior Military Academy in Russia, he holds a Master’s Degree in Historical Sciences.
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Luigi Di Maio

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Italy
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Luigi Di Maio

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Italy
Luigi Di Maio is the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation with the Government of Italy. In June 2018, he was appointed Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economic Development and Minister of Labour and Social Policies. In 2013, at 26, he was the youngest-ever Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies in the 17th Parliament, until 22 March 2018.
IFAD Talk - Responding to global shocks: How public-private partnerships can improve agricultural value chains and build a more resilient rural world
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Frank E. Mars

Board Chair, Mars Incorporated
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Frank E. Mars

Board Chair, Mars Incorporated
Frank E. Mars is Chair of the Mars Board of Directors and a fourth-generation member of the Mars Family. He has worked within the Mars business since 1990, served on the Board of Directors since 2010, and was appointed Board Chair in 2020. For the past 30 years at Mars, Frank has held a variety of positions across its diverse business categories and global operations, including roles in Electronics, Snack Food, Pet Care and Food segments. Outside of Mars, Frank is co-founder and former Chair of the Board of Heliae®, a micro-algal-based life sciences and technology company in Arizona, USA. He is also a co-author of several peer reviewed scientific papers in the area of coral reef ecosystem restoration. Frank earned his undergraduate degree in Economics from Yale University in 1985 and his MBA in 1990 from Duke University (Fuqua School of Business).
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Hélène Papper

Moderator, Director, Communications Division, IFAD
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Hélène Papper

Moderator, Director, Communications Division, IFAD
Hélène Papper is the Director of the IFAD Communication Division, which is responsible for IFAD’s global internal and external communication strategies and operations. Before joining IFAD, Papper was the Director of the United Nations Information Center for Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela based in Bogotá. She is a conflict and post-conflict strategist and leader with extensive experience in the field of diplomacy, advocacy and communications.
Bridging the Investment Gap on rural development: a prerequisite for global resilience post COVID-19
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Marie Haga

Associate Vice-President, External Relations and Governance Departmanet (ERG)
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Marie Haga

Associate Vice-President, External Relations and Governance Departmanet (ERG)
Marie Haga is Associate Vice-President of the External Relations and Governance Department at IFAD. She is responsible for communications, global engagement, partnerships, resource mobilization and relations with IFAD Member States. Haga has extensive experience in conservation, food security, foreign affairs and politics. Before coming to IFAD she worked with the Global Crop Diversity Trust, where she was Executive Director from March 2013.
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Sabrina Dhowre Elba

IFAD Goodwill Ambassador
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Sabrina Dhowre Elba

IFAD Goodwill Ambassador
Sabrina is a model, activist, and the UN Goodwill Ambassador for IFAD. She is passionate about gender equality and promoting the empowerment of women and girls worldwide. She has recently begun work with the First Lady of Sierra Leone on issues related to violence against women in the country. She also works with a variety of civil society organizations, including Conservation International, on environmental issues.
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Agnes Kalibata

President of AGRA
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Agnes Kalibata

President of AGRA
As the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy, Dr Kalibata provides leadership, guidance, and strategic direction towards the 2021 Food Systems Summit. Since 2014, Dr Kalibata has also served as President of AGRA, where she leads the organization’s efforts with partners to ensure a food secure and prosperous Africa through rapid, sustainable agricultural growth, improving the productivity and livelihoods of millions of African smallholder farmers. Prior to joining AGRA, Dr Kalibata was Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) from 2008 to 2014. She has a distinguished track record globally as an agricultural scientist, policy maker and thought leader.
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Marjeta Jager

Deputy Director-General, Eurpoean Commission
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Marjeta Jager

Deputy Director-General, Eurpoean Commission
Marjeta Jager is currently Deputy Director-General for the Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA). Ms Jager has been working in the European Commission since 2005, starting as Director for Security in DG Energy and Transport and later as Director for international energy and transport and coordination, as well as being Head of Cabinet of the Transport Commissioner. Before joining the Commission Ms Jager worked on the accession of Slovenia to the EU for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was the first Deputy Permanent Representative (Coreper I) of Slovenia to the EU.
Centre Stage Event: Interactive Governor Dialogue
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Dominik Ziller

Vice-President of IFAD
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Dominik Ziller

Vice-President of IFAD
Dominik Ziller is Vice-President of IFAD. He gives strategic direction to the institution, and promotes corporate approaches and solutions. He has direct oversight of the budget, quality assurance and ethics offices. Prior to joining IFAD, Ziller was Director General for International Development Cooperation for International Development Policy at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
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H.E. Ousmane M. Kane

Minister of Economic Affairs and Promotion of Productive Sectors of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania
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H.E. Ousmane M. Kane

Minister of Economic Affairs and Promotion of Productive Sectors of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania
Ousmane Mamoudou Kane is the Minister of Economic Affairs and Promotion of Productive Sectors of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. Previously, he was Minister of Finance and Governor of the Central Bank of Mauritania, Vice-President of the African Development Bank and the Managing Director of the National Industrial and Mining Company. He graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Étienne and from the Ecole Polytechnique in France.
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Maria Flachsbarth

Parliamentary State Secretary to BMZ, Federal Republic of Germany
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Maria Flachsbarth

Parliamentary State Secretary to BMZ, Federal Republic of Germany
Dr Maria Flachsbarth is the Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. She has been a member of the German Bundestag since 2002 and is a trained veterinarian. Since 2013 Dr Flachsbarth has been Parliamentary State Secretary in two coalition governments of Chancellor Angela Merkel.
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Marwan Al-Ghanem

Deputy Director-General for Operations, Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development
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Marwan Al-Ghanem

Deputy Director-General for Operations, Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development
Panel: Voices from the field
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Meike Van Ginneken

Associate Vice-President, Strategy and Knowledge Department, IFAD
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Meike Van Ginneken

Associate Vice-President, Strategy and Knowledge Department, IFAD
Meike Van Ginneken is the Associate Vice-President of the Strategy and Knowledge Department at IFAD. Prior to joining IFAD in October 2020, van Ginneken was Chief Executive Officer of the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, a leading development organisation with 1,400 specialized staff working on agriculture, energy and water in 28 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. She holds an MSc in change management from HEC Paris Business School in France and an MSc in water management from Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands.
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Joseph Newton Mathenge

Founder, G-Star Youth Group (Kenya)
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Joseph Newton Mathenge

Founder, G-Star Youth Group (Kenya)
Joseph Newton Mathenge, a 26-year-old Kenyan entrepreneur, who participates in the UTaNRMP project and is the co-founder of G-Star Youth Group. After graduating from the University of Nairobi, he returned to his family farm where he used his education to help improve productivity and income.
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Shirley Casachagua President

Asociación de Artesanas Generación Llanac (Peru)
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Shirley Casachagua President

Asociación de Artesanas Generación Llanac (Peru)
Shirley Casachagua joins us from Peru. Shirley is the president of the Generación Llanac Artisans Association, which helps empower women by promoting local handcraft business activities.
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Hassania Mehasab Moussa

Project Manager, Community Development Association in Neqada (Egypt)
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Hassania Mehasab Moussa

Project Manager, Community Development Association in Neqada (Egypt)
Hassania Mehasab led a group of women to establish a bakery that can serve the community and serves as a source of income for her and the participating women under the Promoting Rural Incomes and Marketing Enhancement (PRIME) project in Egypt.
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Chia Dorothy Vandefan

Seed entrepreneur (Nigeria)
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Chia Dorothy Vandefan

Seed entrepreneur (Nigeria)
Dorothy is a young rice farmer who participated in the IFAD-sponsored in the Value Chain Development Project in Nigeria. Dorothy is a young entrepreneur who has successfully expanded her farm business. She now employs young people to help deal with the needs of a growing business.
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Simon Chottu

Entrepreneur and Community Leader (Solomon Islands)
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Simon Chottu

Entrepreneur and Community Leader (Solomon Islands)
Simon Chottu is an entrepreneur and community leader from the Solomon Islands. Simon’s family owns a small agribusiness that benefitted from an IFAD-supported project four years ago. Today, he is a community leader, helping others in his community build their businesses.
Video: The Kingdom Choir
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The Kingdom Choir

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The Kingdom Choir

The Kingdom Choir is a British gospel choir based in London, founded and conducted by Karen Gibson MBE. The choir rocketed to fame after performing at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018. Their version of 'Stand By Me' went straight to number 1 on the Billboard Gospel Songs Chart. They have gone onto perform at sold-out shows all over the world including the Hollywood Bowl, the Royal Albert Hall and the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in Sydney. They recently celebrated 25 years of The Kingdom Choir.

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More

Documents and Statements

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Belgium on behalf of Benelux

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Côte d'Ivoire

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Dominican Republic

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France and Germany (Joint Statement)

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Iran (Islamic Republic of)

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Nordic Countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden)

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Media contact

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Jessica Thomas

j.thomas@ifad.org
+39 3921605992
+39 0654592215

GC44 Videos
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Videos

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Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD, Opening Ceremony
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H.E. Imran Khan, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
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Luigi Di Maio, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Italy
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IFAD Talk with Frank Mars
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IFAD President, Acceptance Speech on reappointment
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David Beasley, WFP Executive Director