Industry must have prominent role in post-2015 agenda, says UNIDO Director General Yumkella
NAIROBI,13 June 2013 – Manufacturing and productive activities have a crucial impact on job creation, sustainable livelihoods, food security and equitable growth – the key requirements for eradicating extreme poverty by 2030. This was the message delivered to participants at the 20th Conference of African Ministers of Industry (CAMI-20) by Kandeh K. Yumkella, the Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
Industry must get a prominent role in the post-2015 development agenda, and feature in the Sustainable Development Goals, said Yumkella speaking today at the CAMI-20, taking place in the Kenyan capital under the theme, “Accelerating industrialization in Africa within the post-2015 development agenda”.
“We need to ensure that industry gains prominence in the post-2015 agenda and in the Sustainable Development Goals. It is a great opportunity for Africa to ensure that its economic needs are recognized as a matter of global concern. In particular, there is a need to ensure that industrialization is stressed as the key strategy for Africa to achieve the growth rates, job creation and economic transformation needed to eradicate poverty and meet associated development goals in the long run,” said Yumkella.
CAMI-20 was co-organized by the African Union Commission (AUC), the Government of Kenya and UNIDO.
Yumkella's full speech is available here
Referring to the recent report by the UN high-level panel on the post-2015 development agenda, titled A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development, Yumkella said: “The main recommendations of the report underscore the crucial impact that manufacturing and productive capacities have on job creation, sustainable livelihoods, food security and equitable growth. These are all key requirements for eradicating extreme poverty by 2030.”
After eight years as Director General of UNIDO, Yumkella’s tenure will come to an end in June, and he will focus full-time on his role as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All and CEO of the initiative.
“Over the years, with your support, UNIDO’s profile as a trusted, efficient and effective partner for prosperity has been raised to a higher level,” Yumkella told the conference participants. “UNIDO is now recognized as an agency with a highly relevant mandate, one that is focused on helping to achieve international development goals, and dedicated to building partnerships within the UN system and beyond.”
During Yumkella’s tenure at UNIDO, there has been a significant increase in the number of programmes delivered in Africa. Over 60 per cent of the Organization’s projects are currently implemented on the continent.
With the support of the African Union stakeholders, and in partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), UNIDO has developed the Accelerated Agribusiness and Agro-industries Development Initiative (3ADI) that focuses on value chains and promoting value addition.
UNIDO has also implemented a range of energy-related projects in Africa, including mini-hydro and solar energy. Other activities in this field include the promotion of industrial energy efficiency, with a focus on improving the productivity of enterprises through improved energy management systems and energy systems optimization, and methodologies in selected industrial enterprises.
Under Yumkella’s leadership, UNIDO has helped African countries comply with multilateral agreements that deal with climate change issues, including the Montreal and Kyoto Protocols. In partnership with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), UNIDO has developed the Green Industry Platform, which advocates for a more efficient use of energy, raw materials and water resources, and the safe usage of chemical manufacturing processes and services.
A number of UNIDO trade capacity building programmes have been developed and implemented at the regional level, such as the five-year East Africa and West Africa quality and standards infrastructure programmes, which have resulted in the establishment and upgrading of laboratories in selected countries, coupled with skills development in this area.
UNIDO has also been focusing on entrepreneurship development, investment promotion and industrial upgrading and modernization, and private sector development in Africa. A key continental programme, developed in collaboration with the African Union, is the AfrIPAnet, which has seen the implementation of the African investor survey and an investment monitoring platform, a crucial tool for investment decision-making.
UNIDO is closely involved in the AUC’s Business Plan for the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa (PMPA), designed to improve access to affordable, safe and effective essential medicines by developing the industry, and supports the African Union Action Plan for the Accelerated Industrial Development (AIDA).
At CAMI, the ministers adopted the Vote addressed to the Government of France to reconsider its decision to withdraw from UNIDO.