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Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Second UNIDO African Study Tour: Colombia

Organized by UNIDO and successfully completed with the objective of strengthening bilateral relations and South-South Cooperation between the two regions in the areas of renewable energy and agro-industries

As a result of an agreement reached between the UNIDO Director-General, Mr. Kandeh Yumkella, and the President of Colombia in November 2007, the first UNIDO African Study Tour to Colombia took place from 17 to 24 November 2008 with the involvement of five African countries: Côte D’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia and Senegal. The participants took advantage of Colombia’s experience in the production of biofuels derived from oil palms and sugar cane.

Colombia is one of the leading countries in the LAC region regarding biofuels technology, which is particularly reflected in the construction of processing plants using different raw materials for the production of biofuels. Due to its topographical and geographical conditions, Colombia has developed comparative advantages in small hydro-power technology and small agro-industry enterprises. Small (hydro) energy generating plants are being installed mainly in rural areas in order to provide energy for personal as well as for productive use. Such small energy generating plants would also be highly applicable for Africa.

The success of Colombian technologies in the renewable energy and agro-industrial sector was discussed with Colombian authorities during the UNIDO Director-General’s visit to Bogota in October 2007. It was agreed to explore the possibilities of not only using the experience in the LAC region, but also exporting it to other regions, such as Africa. This idea was also discussed between the UNIDO Director-General and the President of Colombia and both parties expressed their interest in further exploring its possibilities.

The participants of the African Study Tour 2008 met representatives of the Colombian Government and major players in the oil palm industry, including palm oil producers and millers, palm oil farmers’ cooperatives, palm oil associations and biofuel producers, as well as experts from research institutions.

The African experts identified several areas of future cooperation and were offered by their Colombian counterparts to enter into bilateral agreements particularly to facilitate technology exchange.

To see more pictures of the event, please click here.

For more information on the event, please contact:
Mr. Carlos Chanduvi, UNIDO Field Operations Officer, LAC Programme

The African Study Tour to Brazil was conducted within the framework of UNIDO's activities to foster Africa/LAC inter-regional cooperation.
For more information on these activities, please click here.