Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Thursday, September 6, 2012

African female leaders awarded the Yara Prize

September 05, 2012. Oslo, Norway. The Yara Prize 2012 is being awarded to Dr. Agnes Kalibata, Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources in Rwanda, and to Dr. Eleni Gabre-Madhin, outgoing CEO of the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) in Ethiopia.

The Yara Prize Committee has selected two prominent African female leaders for their work on groundbreaking areas for the African Green Revolution: effective public policies in support of agricultural growth and profound innovation in agricultural markets.

Both leaders have demonstrated how transformative change can be achieved in a complex and challenging environment. They have applied innovative approaches, collaborating with partners in new ways. Their achievements are fit to inspire other countries to transform the productivity and sustainability of their agricultural sectors.
“Yara creates impact by addressing global challenges. By awarding the Yara Prize, we salute the champions of sustainable agricultural development. I wish to extend my personal congratulations to the laureates,” Jørgen Ole Haslestad, President and CEO of Yara and Chairman of the Yara Prize Committee, said.
The two laureates will be celebrated at the State Banquet / Gala night on September 27 during the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) 2012 in Arusha, Tanzania.

Dr. Agnes Kalibata is being awarded the prize for her great leadership in the transformation of food security and agricultural development in Rwanda in a relatively short period of time. She currently serves as the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources for the Republic of Rwanda. For six years, Minister Kalibata has been the architect of the remarkable transformation of Rwandan agriculture. Rwanda has moved from having a food deficit to being a country that is largely food self-sufficient. Over 1 million Rwandans have moved out of poverty between 2005 and 2011.

Dr. Eleni Gabre-Madhin is the founder and outgoing CEO of the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX). She is being awarded the prize for showing visionary and remarkable leadership in managing the transformation process toward an efficiently functioning market, especially for smallholder coffee producers in Ethiopia.

The ECX has had a far-reaching impact in Ethiopia in several areas of agriculture and in the lives of small farmers since its inauguration in 2008. Under her leadership, ECX’s growth has seen a strong increase in volumes every year, from trading 138,000 tons in the starting year 2008/2009 to 601,000 tons in 2011/2012. The value of ECX trades reached USD 1.2 billion in 2011/2012, representing up to USD 20 million per day.

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