Thursday, 06 October 2011

UNIDO study on agribusiness development in Africa launched in Tunis

TUNIS, 6 October 2011 – The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) teamed up with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to present  a new UNIDO study today on opportunities and challenges for African agribusiness.

The publication, entitled “Agribusiness for Africa’s Prosperity”, is co-edited by the Director-General of UNIDO, Kandeh K. Yumkella.  

The event brought together some fifty experts representing both organizations,  Tunisian public and private sectors and journalists.

The book was presented by the UNIDO Representative in Nigeria and Director of the Regional Office, Patrick Kormawa, and a UNIDO expert in agribusiness, Torben Roepstorf.

Opening the meeting, the Director of the AfDB research department, Desire Vencatachellum, expressed satisfaction with the role played by the experts of both organizations, in the preparation of the book.

"The theme is important and key to the development process of the continent," he said.  

Monica Carco, UNIDO Representative in Tunisia, highlighted the employment opportunities offered by the agribusiness sector, saying that the sector was a top priority in the African development agenda.

Speaking on behalf of the AfDB department of agriculture and agribusiness, Josephine Mwangi-Mutuura, said the AfDB-UNIDO partnership was "paving the way to a forum for discussion on the subject".

She dwelt on the large number of projects and programmes funded by AfDB in this sector. "The Bank intends to see the ideas in the book be translated into concrete programmes," she said.
Zakharia Ahmed, Chief of Cabinet and Director of agribusiness at the Ministry of Industry and Technology of Tunisia, which, in turn, shared the Tunisian experience, said he greatly appreciated the partnership between his country, AfDB and UNIDO, adding that it helped boost the successful development of the agro sector. "Tunisia's successful experience in this sector is due to a strong political will,” he said.

All interventions that followed, emphasized the role to be played by African governments in support of agribusiness, and in promoting and accelerating an inclusive regional development.

Salem Ahmed, Under Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment stated that he was grateful for the analysis carried out by the authors of the book. He called on UNIDO and AfDB to continue supporting the African agribusiness sector.

The seminar provided a platform for discussing technical solutions and financial products to support the development of agribusiness in Africa.

"Agribusiness for Africa's Prosperity” is available in English and can be downloaded here

For printed copies in English and further information, please email:

For further information about "Agribusiness for Africa's Prosperity" and UNIDO's programmes in agribusiness please contact:

Patrick Kormawa
UNIDO Project Manager

Philippe Scholtès
Director, UNIDO Agribusiness Development Branch

For more information about UNIDO, please contact:

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

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