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Mahama addresses opening session of IFAD today

President John Dramani Mahama will today deliver a keynote speech to open the 38th Session of the Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Rome, Italy.

World leaders have gathered in Rome for the two-day session, which is putting a spotlight on rural transformation as a major ingredient for sustainable development.

The Governing Council, which is the fund’s main decision-making body, is made up of all member states, including Ghana. It holds its annual meetings at the IFAD Headquarters in Rome.

Other distinguished speakers for the meeting include His Majesty Tupou VI, the King of Tonga; Pier Carlo Padoan, the Minister for Economy and Finance of Italy, and Ms Winnie Byanyima, the Executive Director of Oxfam International.

The meeting is being held at the critical period when action on defining a post-2015 global agenda has been set in motion.

The agenda is meant to create opportunities to refocus policies, investments and partnerships for more inclusive, sustainable and people-centered development.

With respect to Ghana, IFAD intends to reduce poverty in line with the government’s economic development strategy.

Already, IFAD has approved US$271.5 million in loans and grants to support 17 projects and programmes in Ghana.

The meeting will also feature two centre stage panels of experts on issues critical to IFAD’s mission. One panel will focus on gender equality and discuss the road to full empowerment for rural women.

Another panel on the food systems of indigenous people will deliberate on their fundamental rights in order to advance global food and nutrition security.

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