Panafrican News Agency

Kenya: 'Inclusive finance key to food security in East, Southern Africa' - IFAD

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Ugandan Government have brought together policy makers and development practitioners for a three-day meeting in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.

According to IFAD, the meeting which started Monday is discussing innovative approaches to expanding access to financial services for rural people.

The meeting will review the implementation of IFAD-funded projects in East and Southern Africa and look at ways to foster the transformation of rural economies and communities as well as improve rural development interventions that provide rural people a way out of hunger and poverty.

Ssempijja Vincent Bamulangaki, the Ugandan Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, and Sana F.K. Jatta, IFAD Regional Director for the East and Southern Africa Division, were to open the workshop Monday afternoon.

Nearly 300 participants, including representatives of IFAD-funded projects, governments, development agencies, United Nations agencies, the private sector, and members of the civil society and farmers’ organizations, are expected to attend.

''Every country has to make specific policy choices and carefully target investments that empower the rural poor, especially young people and women, in a manner that enables those individuals to seize opportunities and deal with threats,” Jatta said ahead of the opening ceremony.

“This workshop will be where IFAD’s experience over four decades of operation can be harnessed by the governments, project teams, private sector players, and the farmers themselves to achieve the ambitious goals of eradicating poverty, ending hunger and malnutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture in East and Southern Africa,” added the official.

Prior to the official opening of the Regional Implementation Workshop, the first East and Southern Africa Farmers Forum will take place on 22 May in Kampala.

As of May 2017, IFAD has 44 ongoing programmes and projects in 16 countries in East and Southern Africa, totaling US$ 1.6 billion of IFAD investments in the region’s ongoing portfolio.

Since 1979, IFAD has financed 16 rural development programmes and projects in Uganda for a total cost of US$ 1.4 billion with US$ 385.7 million of its own resource benefitting directly nearly five million households.
-0- PANA DJ/VAO 22May2017