Renowned agricultural scientist and policymaker Dr. Agnes Kalibata is President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
Teaming up with public and private partners, she leads the organization’s efforts to increase improve income and food security through rapid, inclusive, sustainable agricultural growth, improving the productivity and livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers in Africa.
Dr. Kalibata, a former Minister of Agriculture joined the organization in 2014. She serves as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to the 2021 Food Systems Summit with eyes on food systems meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.
Born in Rwanda to farmers, the struggle for independence saw her family displaced in the early 1960s. Many thanks to her family’s struggle, Kalibata later went on earn a bachelor’s degree in entomology and biochemistry, followed by a master’s degree in agriculture, both from Makerere University in Uganda, later bagging her Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
She kicked off her career as a research scientist then returned home to Rwanda where she served as Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources from 2008 to 2014. During this period, she established herself with a distinguished track record, applaudably implementing science-based programs to boost food production and improve food security, resulting in the poverty level in the country dropping more than 50 percent. In 2014, Dr. Kalibata became AGRA president.
Dr. Kalibata sits on various boards, councils, and commissions including the Global Commission on Adaptation, the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum, the Malabo-Montpellier Panel, the Food and Land Use (FOLU) Coalition, the Architecture for REDD + Transactions (ART), the International Fertilizer Development Corporation (IFDC), Bioversity International, and Africa Risk Capacity, among others.
The distinguished thought leader’s drive to catapult Africa’s agricultural terrain through modern science has seen her honored with several awards and accolades including also awarded the Yara Prize, now the Africa Food Prize, in 2012, Honorary Doctorate from the University of Liège in 2018, and the National Academy of Sciences’ Public Welfare Medal in 2019