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Thursday, 24 March 2011

UNIDO and ACP Secretariat combine efforts to promote sustainable industrial development, tackle poverty

BRUSSELS, 24 March 2011 - The Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Secretary-General of the Secretariat of the African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) have expressed their commitment today to jointly promote sustainable industrial development in ACP countries with the purpose of poverty alleviation.

The UNIDO Director-General, Kandeh K. Yumkella, and ACP Secretary-General, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, signed a memorandum of understanding on this during a session of the Committee of ACP Ambassadors.

“Our meeting today offers a new arrangement for the European Union to support ACP countries. The memorandum of understanding is a clear indication of our readiness to enhance the efforts of UNIDO and the ACP Secretariat in the area of sustainable industrial development of ACP countries and regions. It forms the basis for a new relationship agreement which we hope can be signed at the next UNIDO Industrial Development Board that will take place in Vienna in June,” said Yumkella.   

The cooperation with UNIDO will help ACP countries develop policies, institutions and capacities to eradicate poverty through the development of industrial activities. This would include, among other matters, entrepreneurship development, including in rural areas with a focus on youth and women’s entrepreneurship; developing small businesses, agro-industries, and trade capacity building.

It will also foresee assistance in technology transfer, the promotion of renewable energy and assistance in implementing international environmental agreements.

ACP-UNIDO cooperation in recent years has led to the development of a programme to promote quality investment through investment surveys and the reinforcement of the strategic role of investment promotion agencies in industrial policies in some 20 ACP countries.

Collaboration has focused on trade capacity building, but there is a strong interest from both the EU and the ACP Secretariat to also work in the areas of productive capacity for poverty reduction as well as on energy and the environment. There are currently several projects in the pipeline, including on quality investment, renewable energy and global identification of polluted sites.

“A partnership with UNIDO would support the sustainable industrial development of ACP countries in line with their national or regional development strategies,” said Chambas.

“It will also strengthen the capacity of the public and private sectors in the ACP countries for the development of inclusive, competitive and environmental friendly industries.”

On 15 March, Director-General Yumkella and Secretary-General Chambas met in Accra with the President of the Republic of Ghana, John Evans Atta Mills, in the context of an international conference, to discuss how African governments can ensure full transparency and accountability of resources, including in the petroleum sector, and that the resources are used effectively to generate revenues for economic growth.

For more information, please contact

Mikhail Evstafyev
UNIDO Advocacy and Communication Coordinator
Telephone: (+43-1) 26026-5021
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-7329
E-mail