ALGIERS, 30 March 2011 – The Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, Antonio Tajani, said today that the Commission would work close with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to accelerate the industrialization of Africa.
Tajani was addressing the 19th Conference of African Ministers of Industry (CAMI 19) taking place in Algiers from 30 to 31 March. The event brought together some 35 African Ministers of Trade and Industry and heads of delegations from over 40 countries of the continent.
Tajani said the European Commission and UNIDO had “reached a broad consensus” and were “working together in a positive spirit and with the necessary ambition”.
The EU Commissioner said he had discussed with UNIDO Director-General, Kandeh K. Yumkella, co-organizing in 2012 a high-level conference on industrial cooperation that would bring together the African Union (AU), the EU, and UNIDO to develop a joint EU-AU action plan to accelerate the industrialization of Africa.
During last week’s visit to Brussels, Director-General Yumkella discussed with European Commissioners socially inclusive, competitive and green industrial development, energy matters, private sector investments in developing countries, and potential collaboration on climate change mitigation. Yumkella met the Vice-President Antonio Tajani, as well as the Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, and the Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard.
In its Action Plan for 2011-2013, the November 2010 Africa-EU Heads of State Summit in Tripoli recognized UNIDO as a major partner.
“Since its establishment by an agreement in 1993, our partnership has considerably developed. From 2001 to 2010, the EU has approved around EUR 100 million for UNIDO technical cooperation programmes for the benefit of developing countries around the world, with particular attention to Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP),” said Yumkella.
The current UNIDO-EU collaboration focuses on trade capacity building, including establishing industrial norms and standards for competitiveness and consumer protection, as well as on modernizing the private sector for jobs and wealth creation in poor countries.
To read the speech by Commissioner Tajani at CAMI 19 (in French), click here.
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