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Monday, 8 March 2021

Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo Reappointed As IFAD’s President For A Second Four-Year Term


Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo, a senior official and formal Prime Minister of Togo, has been announced as the president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for a record second time.

The organization’s main decision-making body, IFAD’s board of governors, has entrusted in Gilbert again the Rome-based organization’s affairs for another four years, affairs he has been overseeing since 2017.

Shortly after his reappointment, the Togolese made it known via social media that he would be building on his actions in his first tenure at the helm of affairs of this institution.

Gilbert said on Twitter, “My first priority will be the consolidation of the reforms carried out over the past four years so that IFAD’s path towards doubling its impact by 2030 becomes irreversible.”

On this same note, the renowned international institution revealed that emphasis would be placed on challenges caused by COVID-19 and global disturbances. In his second tenure, the Togolese will also give the necessary attention to technological solutions, innovative financing models, and partnerships with the private sector.

The reappointed head said, “As the viral pandemic continues to devastate rural areas by worsening the food supply chains and increased poverty and hunger are predicted, it is more urgent than ever for IFAD to shift into high gear.”

“Today is Covid-19. Yesterday was a tsunami, and we don’t know what will happen tomorrow. But the threat of climate change and weather disasters has not diminished. We have to be ready. No rural woman or man should ever be forced to sell their meager assets or emigrate to survive.”

Dr Houngbo reiterated that achieving this goal is possible. He pleaded with the donors to significantly contribute to the IFAD to ensure a comprehensive program worth at least US $11 billion from 2022 t0 2024 can be carried out. This will improve the economies that can tackle the challenges posed by COVID-19 and climate change.

During the new tenure, another crucial goal of Houngbo is to address the major challenges the rural young people encounter when finding decent employment. This has a huge impact on migration and instability. 60% of young people live in rural areas in Africa; between 10 and 12 million young people enter the job market annually. With increased investments in rural small and medium-sized enterprises and agripreneurs, the narrative will change for the better.

For the past four years since the emergence of the Gilbert as the IFAD president in 2017, the institution has targeted the most vulnerable and poor people. Interestingly, at the end of 2019, 132 million people in more than 90 countries benefitted from IFAD’s investments.

Meanwhile, the Togolese recognized in his speech the huge financing gap threatening the world’s ability to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal of ending hunger by 2030.

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