Monday, 03 June 2013

UNIDO and Philips to collaborate on innovative LED lighting solutions for poverty reduction in Africa

VIENNA, 3 June 2013 - The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Royal Philips have signed a declaration regarding their joint collaboration on innovative LED lighting solutions for poverty reduction.

The declaration was signed on the margins of the Vienna Energy Forum, organized by UNIDO from 28 to 30 May.

Royal Philips (commonly known as Philips) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of healthcare, consumer lifestyle and lighting. It employs around 122,000 people across more than 60 countries. As of 2012, Philips was the largest manufacturer of lighting in the world measured by applicable revenues.

The declaration, signed by Philippe Scholtès, Officer-in-Charge of UNIDO’s Programme Development and Technical Cooperation Division, and Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public and Government Affairs, Philips Lighting, expresses the two organizations’ intention to facilitate close co-operation regarding the Community Light Centres Programme in Africa, with the objective of contributing to the achievement of the goals and targets of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All Initiative. 

Philips is currently installing more than a hundred Community Light Centres across Africa. These are areas of approximately 1000m2, or the size of a small soccer pitch, and are lit using a new generation of efficient solar-powered LED lighting. The concept of the Light Centres is to create areas of light for rural communities, which live without electricity, thus effectively ‘extending the day and extending play’, creating numerous opportunities for social, sporting and economic activities in the evening.

The joint declaration commits UNIDO and Philips to cooperate to promote rural access to energy and energy efficiency for productive activities, technology transfer and access to renewable energy solutions through solar-powered LED technologies, in particular in Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. The two organizations state their intention to identify suitable projects relating to the above areas of cooperation on an annual basis. 

The joint declaration builds on the Memorandum of Understanding signed between both organizations in September 2011, and signals the two organizations’ willingness to engage in a strategic, long-term partnership to advance the mutual goal of sustainable and inclusive industrial development. 

For further information, please contact:

Barbara Kreissler
UNIDO Business Partnerships Group
Tel.: +43 1 260 26 3420
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Nick Kelso
Senior Communications Manager
Philips Lighting Africa
Tel.: +31 6 100 39 296
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