Monday, 04 June 2012

UNIDO and AUC conference promotes economic diversification and manufacturing in Africa

ADDIS ABABA, 8 June 2012 – A conference on strategies to promote economic diversification in Africa, with a focus on investment in the agribusiness and pharmaceutical sectors, took place on 4-5 June in the Ethiopian capital. The two-day event was organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the African Union Commission (AUC).

“Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa, can do much more to add value to farm production,” said Wilfried Luetkenhorst, UNIDO Managing Director. “The region’s insufficient capacity to produce and process agro-industrial commodities limits the scope for industrialization and means countries are missing opportunities to create jobs.”

Luetkenhorst added, “The pharmaceutical sector can become another strategic sector.  Local production of generic medicines promises affordability and availability of needed drugs, employment opportunities and overall public health benefits.”

The two-day conference promoted investment collaboration between African companies and companies from both developed and emerging economies, and provided a forum for business-to-business linkages among stakeholders, particularly private sector companies.

The ultimate goal was to bring together companies operating in the agribusiness and pharmaceutical sectors in Africa with a view to agreeing on specific and practical measures to promote economic diversification.

The conference promoted South-South cooperation, examined technical cooperation funding opportunities, and helped develop a business-to-business platform to increase the visibility of African companies in both sectors.

The conference was a follow-up to the 19th Conference of African Ministers of Industry, in March 2011, where there was a consensus on the need to focus on agro- and pharmaceutical industries in order to accelerate industrial development in Africa.

For more information on the Conference and for contacts, please go here: 

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