The University of Liège has awarded the AGRA President, Dr. Agnes Kalibata an Honorary Doctorate – its highest honour – in recognition of her leadership role in driving Africa’s agricultural transformation.
Presenting her with the Insignias of the distinction, Prof. Albert Corhay, the University Rector, outlined her outstanding contributions to agriculture across Africa. He spoke particularly of her vision and leadership in contributing to real change across Africa both through her former role as the Minister of Agriculture in Rwanda and now as the AGRA President.
On receiving the honour, Dr. Kalibata recognised the input of others in the process, saying: “This is a very humbling experience. To receive this Honorary Doctorate from such a prestigious University is a true career highlight. But as I have told my colleagues, friends and family, this would not have been possible without the contribution of so many people that I have worked with and that have supported me”.
Acknowledging the role of the smallholder farmers as the most critical players in Africa’s agriculture, Dr. Kalibata dedicated the doctorate to the continent’s farmers.
“More importantly, this honour would not have been possible were it not for the millions of smallholder farmers across Africa who work so hard to feed the continent and to grow its economy. I dedicate this honour to each one of them, they are my motivation every day.”
Dr. Kalibata was nominated for the Honorary Doctorate by the University’s Faculty of Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech. She received it alongside ten other recipients, one for each of the faculties.
This years’ ceremony was particularly significant as the University of Liège is celebrating its 200th year in existence.
While at the University, Dr. Kalibata gave a lecture entitled: Re-Envisioning Investment for African Agriculture: Top Priorities for Growing Food, Jobs and Economies.
Noting that Africa continues to notch up some progress and that challenges still remain, she outlined 4 actions that should be taken to re-design investments in African agriculture to deliver more than progress as usual.
The 4 priorities revolve around ensuring:
- The right allocation and coordination of investments
- That investments reach those who need them most
- That investments crowd in the private sector
- There is capacity to come through