Director General calls for a "Marshall Plan" with Africa at the Italy-Africa Summit
29 January 2024
ROME – Gerd Müller, the Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), has participated in the Italy-Africa Summit at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Italy. He joined leaders of 25 African countries and representatives of European Union institutions.
In recognition of UNIDO’s mandate and its contributions towards Africa’s sustainable industrialization, Mueller was asked to join the Summit’s thematic sessions and shared his insights on food security, renewable energy and job creation, which are also key pillars of Italy’s Mattei Plan, presented and discussed at the Summit. UNIDO’s Müller stressed that UNIDO supports the Mattei Plan and suggested to cooperate in its implementation.
In his speech he called for a "Marshall Plan" with Africa to support the African Union’s Agenda 2063. He emphasized that “a world without hunger, Africa without hunger, is possible. It is not a question of money, It is a question of political will. We need fair markets, fair global value chains and investment in local value addition.”
Addressing the European Union's high-level representatives, he called for fair, open cooperation and trade between Africa and the EU single market. Furthermore, he highlighted the need for huge investments in energy infrastructure and digitalization in Africa.
While in Rome, Müller also engaged in several bilateral meetings with senior government officials, UN officials and other stakeholders. He held a meeting with Qu Dongyu, Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), during which FAO and UNIDO reconfirmed their joint commitment to increase food security and transform agri-food systems around the world, for example through their joint initiative on Agrifood Systems Transformation Accelerator (ASTA), which supports countries by facilitating innovative partnerships and investments.
He also attended the Agricola Medal ceremony, where the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, received this award in recognition of his contribution to food security and the Sustainable Development Goals.