June 11, 2024
Gerardine Mukeshimana, a former Minister for Agriculture and Animal Resources in Rwanda, has taken up duties as Vice-President of United Nations' International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

By Abdi Ali
Published September 2, 2023

Gerardine Mukeshimana, a former Minister for Agriculture and Animal Resources in Rwanda, has taken up duties as Vice-President of United Nations' International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Gerardine Mukeshimana, a former Minister for Agriculture and Animal Resources in Rwanda, has taken up duties as Vice-President of United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

“I am thrilled to join IFAD and amplify the global call to invest in small-scale farmers and to keep focus on making global and local food systems more sustainable, resilient and equitable for the people who work in them and feed the world,” says Mukeshimana as she joins IFAD at a crucial time while the acceleration of climate change and the rapid decline of biodiversity are threatening food security and the livelihoods of billions of rural people.

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“As per my experience, I strongly believe that agriculture can be a thriving sector and play a key role in lifting rural populations out of hunger and poverty,” she says. “What is required is political will to invest at scale, deploy the right agricultural know-how and innovations, and strengthen small and medium agri-business and local and regional markets, to boost rural economies overall.”

During her leadership as Rwanda’s agricultural minister between 2014 and 2023, Mukeshimana attracted private sector interest in agri-business, promoted women and youth empowerment in agri-food systems, and pioneered the use of climate funds for the agricultural sector.

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Before serving as minister, Mukeshimana was a molecular biologist post-doctoral researcher for Biosciences East and Central Africa Hub at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), applying bioscience technology to improve the livelihoods of millions of resource-poor people in Africa. She also served as post-doctoral researcher at Michigan State University, the national coordinator of the World Bank Rural Sector Support Program in Rwanda, and a lecturer in the Faculty of Agriculture at the National University of Rwanda.

Mukeshimana holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Engineering from the National University of Rwanda and a Master’s and a PhD degrees in Plant Breeding and Genetics, Crop and Soil Sciences from Michigan State University.

At IFAD, Mukeshimana shall be in charge of IFAD’s budget, quality assurance, change management and innovation.

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