Nairobi, 17 December 2019 – AGRA President Dr. Agnes Kalibata was this week announced as UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the 2021 Food Systems Summit. A renowned champion for agricultural transformation to drive inclusive economic growth, Dr. Kalibata is one of the foremost leaders calling for food systems that will end hunger and ensure sustainable livelihoods and healthy, affordable and accessible diets for all.

Current food systems are failing, which is clear from the recent global rise in hunger after years of decline, leaving more than 800 million people going hungry today around the world. Major changes in our food systems are required to end hunger and reduce poverty. This is only getting more difficult with rapidly degrading environments and increasing challenges of climate change.

The 2021 Food Systems Summit will be a crucial staging point towards achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly with a view to ending hunger, and driving sustainability across the food ecosystem. It offers a tangible opportunity to farmers, civil society, the private sector and governments to remake food systems that can benefit all, build resilience, and drive sustainable livelihoods.

In her role as the Special Envoy for the Summit, Dr. Kalibata will work with key stakeholders and partners to advance this global agenda, providing leadership, guidance and strategic direction towards the Summit, in close coordination with the United Nations leadership. She will work closely with key leaders, including governments, private sector, community leaders, and other strategic stakeholder groups, to galvanize action and leadership for the Summit. She will also support the various global and regional consultative events focused on food system transformation, planned during 2020 and 2021, so that this Summit benefits from the best ideas and priorities around the world.

Speaking on her appointment, Dr. Kalibata thanked the UN Secretary-General for entrusting her with this great responsibility. “I am greatly honoured by the appointment. Using the experience and lessons we have learned through our work at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and other leading organistions, we will ensure that the 2021 Food Systems Summit delivers its objectives of generating momentum, expanding knowledge and sharing experience and approaches worldwide to help countries and stakeholders unleash the benefits of food systems for all people. I have been assured by the AGRA Board of Directors, Management and teams that they will support me in every way to ensure I come through on this responsibility while continuing to lead AGRA in its pioneering work to transform Africa’s agriculture.”

“The Summit will also offer a catalytic moment for global public mobilization and actionable commitments to make food systems inclusive, climate adapted and resilient, and to support peace building. We look forward to engaging all actors in this process who are ready to help increase our pace of progress,” she added.

Dr. Kalibata leads AGRA’s efforts with public and private partners to ensure a food secure and prosperous Africa through rapid, inclusive, sustainable agricultural growth, improving the productivity and livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers in Africa.

Prior to joining AGRA, Dr. Kalibata served as Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources from 2008 to 2014, where she drove programs that contributed to her country’s food security, helping to lift more than a million Rwandans out of poverty. She remains a thought leader through her support to several regional and global bodies in driving solutions to rural livelihoods, food and agriculture.

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For more information, please contact:

Waiganjo Njoroge, AGRA Interim Head of Communications at wnjoroge@agra.org or Tel.: +254 723 857 270 (WhatsApp only as currently on Christmas travels)

About AGRA

Established in 2006, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is an African-led and Africa-based institution that puts smallholder farmers at the center of the continent’s growing economy by transforming agriculture from a solitary struggle to survive into farming as a business that thrives.

Together with our partners, we catalyse and sustain inclusive agriculture transformation to increase the incomes and improve food security for 30 million farming households in 11 African countries by 2021.

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