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The President  of IFAD Distinguished  Governors 
Your Excellences,  Ambassadors  and Permanent  Representatives

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is my privilege  and great honour to be invited to the 39th IFAD Governing  Council representing my country Rwanda.  I bring you warm greetings from the people and the Government  of Rwanda in general and in particular from our President His Excellency Paul Kagame who is still grateful to have been invited to this august assembly  in which  he delivered  a key note speech at the  35th session in February 2012.

The theme  for the  conference,  Inclusive  investment-  Rural  farmers,  state and business  beyond 
2015 agenda  is very relevant  to the current development  focus of the food and agriculture  sector of many developing  and emerging  economies.  In the Rwandan  context it ties in neatly  with  our Vision 2020 and its offshoots  of the Economic  Development  and Poverty  Reduction  Strategy  II (EDPRSII)  as well as the Strategic  Plan for Transformation   of Agriculture  III (SP ATIII)  whose main objective is to reduce poverty and increase the wellbeing  of the population  and especially  the rural poor through  modernization  and commercialization   of agriculture.

Mme/Mr Chairperson,  Ladies and Gentlemen

I would like to take this opportunity  to express my sincere gratitude to IFAD for having played  a key role in our agricultural  development  efforts. IFAD started operations  in Rwanda  in 1981 and to date has funded  15  projects  worth  about  $ 425 million  some of these  funds  are grants  while others are highly  concessional  loans.

During the 1994 Genocide  against Tutsi,  IFAD, like any other development  partners,  suspended its operations  in the country but it is on record that it was the first development  partner to resume soon  after  peace  was  restored   in  1995  with  a  project  whose  objective  was  to  support   the rehabilitation  of the country and assistance to refugees.   The four other projects that were already on going were  also resumed  as soon as necessary  arrangements  were put in place.  We are very grateful for this.


Time is now opportune  to adopt inclusive  investment  where  all stakeholders  in value chains  are involved.  This  can  be  done  by  investing  in  areas  such  as  (i) agricultural   technology   and  its application  to improve productivity;  (ii) infrastructure  that will provide  better access to markets and enhance small scale industries;   (iii) rural finance and (iv) strengthened  institutions  to improve support  services  to smallholder  farmers  especially  those that mitigate  effects  of climate  change and  also to improved policy dialogue.

The  Independent   Office  of  Evaluation   of  IFAD  has  carried   out  two  country   performance evaluations,   one  in  2005  and  the  most  current  in  2010  all  of  whose  findings  have   shown satisfactory performance  of its portfolio.

The 2010 evaluation  found that the partnership  between IFAD and The Government  of 
Rwanda had made a significant  contribution  to reducing rural poverty, 
and that the performance  of the portfolio  has improved  since the CPE of 2005. On IFAD's  part, contributing  factors include a more participatory  approach  and transition  to direct supervision,  while, on the part of the Government,  they include the introduction  of clearly-defined   strategies  and programs  as well as a strong accountability  framework.  Rwanda's  governance  culture is highly results-oriented, thereby,  ensuring that policies and strategies  are implemented.

Currently, there are three ongoing IFAD funded projects in Rwanda under one umbrella known as Single Project  Implementation  Unit (SPIU) and one of them abbreviated  as KWAMP  has won 2 trophies for the best fiduciary management  and one for gender equality and women empowerment.

In fact, the Rwanda SPIU fiduciary management has been highly rated by IFAD since 2010 and improving over the years with a score of 4.10 in 2015, being the highest within the ESA region. This has been attributed to having an experienced and continuing team without the "start-stop" project cycle.

There is a new project which is still under the design stage, and I am happy to report that this is the first IFAD project that deals solely with livestock, other interventionshave been related to crop production, processing and marketing, rural finance as well as natural resource management.

Mme Mr. Chairpeson, Ladies and gentlemen, let me conclude by thanking IFAD for its continued support to Rwanda and hope that our partnership shall result in achieving our ultimate goal of reducing poverty and increasing smallholder farmers' incomes.


Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana

Minister of Agriculture and Animal  Resources