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African female leaders awarded Yara prize

Dr Gabre-Madhin founded the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (© Jean-Christian Larche)
Dr Gabre-Madhin founded the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange
© Jean-Christian Larche

Dr Agnes Kalibata, Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources in Rwanda, and Dr Eleni Gabre-Madhin, outgoing CEO of the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange in Ethiopia, have been awarded the 2012 Yara Prize for their work towards an African Green Revolution. "The impressive transformational work the laureates are doing provides great inspiration," says Jørgen Ole Haslestad, President and CEO of Yara and Chairman of the Yara Prize Committee. "By awarding the Yara Prize, we salute the champions of sustainable agricultural development."

According to the Yara Prize Committee, Dr Kalibata is being awarded the prize for her leadership in the transformation of food security and agricultural development in Rwanda. During Dr Kalibata's time as Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Rwanda has been transformed from having a food deficit to being largely food self-sufficient and over 1 million Rwandans have moved out of poverty. Dr Kalibata has also been praised for aligning national policies with the NEPAD/CAADP frameworks and being a driving force behind the Grow Africa Initiative, a partnership platform to accelerate investments for sustainable growth in African agriculture.

As the founder of the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange, Dr Gabre-Madhin is receiving the Yara Prize for her visionary and remarkable leadership in managing the transformation process toward an efficiently functioning market, especially for smallholder coffee producers in Ethiopia. Since 2008/2009 trading at the Commodity Exchange has risen from 138,000 tons to 601,000 in 2011/2012, worth US$20 million a day. At present, 12 per cent of the membership of the Commodity Exchange is made up of farmer cooperatives, representing 2.4 million smallholder farmers.

The prize will be awarded at the 2012 African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Arusha, Tanzania.

Date published: September 2012


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