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Monday, 21 November 2011

UNIDO, AU Commission and UNECA say energy crucial for Africa’s industrialization

VIENNA, 21 November 2011 – The African Union Commission, the Economic Commission for Africa and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) issued a joint statement today to mark Africa Industrialization Day, stressing that access to modern, clean energy services will contribute to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, and serve as a building block for industrialization.

The statement also emphasizes that “access to safe, reliable, affordable and efficient modern energy services is fundamental to industrial development and enhanced productivity, and will underpin poverty reduction and sustainable economic and social development”.

As 2012 has been named the International year of Sustainable Energy for All by the U.N. General Assembly, and endorsed by the African Union Commission, this year’s theme for Africa Industrialization Day is “Tackling energy poverty in Africa to increase productivity and economic development”.

In 1989, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 20 November as Africa Industrialization Day. African countries can reflect on this Day on the progress made towards achieving strategic and sustainable industrial development.

“Given that nearly 3 billion people are without access to modern energy services, it is time, now more than ever, to expand our initiatives in a bold way. Otherwise, prospects for reducing poverty will be undermined. Even if some progress has been made, it is fundamental, within the limits of our mandates, to reiterate and increase our efforts towards sustainable development,” says the joint statement.

A symposium marking Africa Industrialization Day, held at UNIDO headquarters in Vienna, was attended by representatives of African countries and the international community.

For more information on the event, please contact:

Mahammed Dionne

Chief, UNIDO Africa Programme

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