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On Monday 22 March, during the opening ceremony on the second Africa Rice Congress, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Mali, H.E. Modibo Sidibe awarded Kanayo F. Nwanze, IFAD President, with the Distinguished Service Award of the Africa Rice Center.

“Let me express my heartfelt gratitude for honouring me with the Distinguished Service Award. The Africa Rice Center is a fine institution and one which I am immensely proud to be associated with.” said Nwanze immediately after receiving the award.

“We know from the work of both the Africa Rice Center and IFAD, innovation and partnerships are fundamental to realizing Africa’s potential. And, as we also know, there is much untapped potential on this continent to be realized. Whether here at Africa Rice or in Rome at IFAD, I say that we owe it to Africa’s people to ensure that we achieve this goal. Working together, I am confident that we will.” It is with those words that the President concluded his acceptance speech. His speech was largely echoed by the Prime Minister when he formally opened the Congress.

Hundred of scientists, researchers, development practitioners and farmers from Africa, Europe, Asia and Latin America are attending the congress.

After the inaugural session, the President conducted interviews with a number of journalists.

By Geraldine Mpouma Logmo