On Friday, Irish Ambassador Dr Vincent O’Neill met with the President of AGRA, Dr Agnes Kalibata, and her team to discuss her participation as keynote speaker at the Africa Ireland Economic Forum in Dublin on Oct 11th.
As President of AGRA, Dr. Kalibata leads the organisation’s efforts with public and private partners to ensure a food secure and prosperous Africa through rapid, sustainable agricultural growth, improving the productivity and livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers.
Before joining AGRA in September 2014, Dr. Kalibata was Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI). In this role, she was widely considered to be one of the most successful Agriculture Ministers in sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr. Kalibata has held several other leadership positions, including Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture and Deputy Vice Chancellor of University of Rwanda. She also worked for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Uganda, and various other agricultural development organisations.
She sits on various boards including the International Fertilizer Development Corporation (IFDC), Bioversity International, Africa Risk Capacity, the Malabo-Montpellier Panel, and is a member of the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum.
Dr. Kalibata has a distinguished track record as an agricultural scientist, policy maker and thought leader and holds a doctorate in Entomology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Joining Dr Kalibata at the Forum will be top level political leaders and senior business figures from both Ireland and Africa, including the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D and Kenyan Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya.
Since the first Forum in 2010, Irish trade with Africa has increased steadily, with further growth forecast. The Forum is organised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade together with the African Embassies in Ireland.