By Obinna Chukwuezie
The Nigerian-born Kanayo Nwanze, who is the fifth President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will be stepping down from office on the last day of March, 2017. Nwanze was President for two terms beginning in April 2009. He is the first Nigerian to be have occupied such position.
According to the tradition of IFAD, a new President has been appointed to replace Nwanze when his tenures comes to an end. Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo, former Prime Minister of Togo, will be the sixth President of IFAD, a specialized United Nations agency and international financial institution that invests in eradicating rural poverty in developing countries around the world. Houngbo was among eight candidates including three women vying for the organization’s top leadership position. His candidacy was unanimously endorsed by the governments of the African Union.Houngbo will take office on 1 April 2017.
The seventy-One year old Delta state-born Nwanze holds BSc in Agricultural Science, University of Ibadan, Nigeria; Doctorate in Agricultural Entomology, Kansas State University. Formerly: 10 years as Director-General, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Africa Rice Center, was instrumental in introducing and promoting New Rice for Africa, or NERICA, a high-yield, drought- and pest-resistant variety developed specifically for the African landscape. President, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which is dedicated to ensuring that agriculture is a central part of the international development agenda and that governments recognize the concerns of smallholder farmers and other poor rural people. Member, Global Agenda Council on Food Security, World Economic Forum. Has served on various executive boards. Member of several scientific associations. Has published extensively. Recipient, honorary degrees, McGill University, Canada, and University of Warwick, United Kingdom. Also recipient of honours and awards from governments and national and international institutions.
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