Jan 31, 2023

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Raychelle Omamo seeks top post at global agriculture agency

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Raychelle Awuor Omamo is among four candidates running for the presidency of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (Ifad).

Other candidates in the running are Mr Shobhana Kumar Pattanayak from India, Mr Khaled A. Mahdi from Kuwait and Dr. Alvaro Lario of Spain, who is currently Deputy Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Ifad.

The elections will take place on Thursday during a three-day Ifad conference that starts today (Wednesday) in Rome, Italy.


The conference will focus on food security and rural development financing. It will take place both physically and virtually and will be attended by stakeholders from across the country.

If elected, Ms Omamo will succeed former Togolese Prime Minister Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo, who has led the institution since April chairs January 2017. He was reappointed for a second term in 2021.

Ms. Omamo is a lawyer and was the first female Chair of the Law Society of Kenya.

She was also the first Kenyan Ambassador to France and Portugal. Before being appointed Secretary of the Cabinet for Foreign Affairs, she was Secretary of the Defense Cabinet for seven years.

A great achievement for her and for Kenya

Her election as the next Ifad President will be a great success for them and for Kenya.

Ifad runs 18 agricultural programs in Kenya. To date, the organization has spent USD 333.6 million (Shh 39.7 billion) since 1979.

Ifad is a specialized agency of the United Nations and an international financial institution dedicated to the eradication of rural poverty in developing countries around the world.

The agency funds agriculture to empower women, youth and small farmers.

About 63% of people around the world are poor and work in agriculture . Ifad has so far empowered 512 million people to improve their livelihoods.

More than 294,000 people in Kenya are employed in agriculture and more than 7.5 million are small farmers. The majority of those employed in agriculture are women and youth.

In addition, approximately 15.4% of Kenya’s translating population (7.9 million people) suffer from hunger and food insecurity. The hardest-hit areas include the northern parts of Kenya, including Turkana, Marsabit, Garissa, Kitui, Isiolo and Samburu.

Currently, the cost of agricultural products has increased in the country, increasing the food insecurity of citizens .