VIENNA, 23 February 2022 - The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Government of Japan are continuing to deliver on their pledge to support African countries on their path to progress towards the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as building back better from COVID-19. Productive activities carried out in a sustainable manner are crucial to tackle the global climate crisis, protect the environment, end hunger and create jobs.
A kick-off event at the Vienna International Centre has marked the start of four new projects in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana and Nigeria, with a total contribution from the Government of Japan of approximately US$8.7m. In 2021, Japan was the largest governmental donor to UNIDO, with voluntary contributions at a record high, estimated at US$21.8m.
At the event, Ambassador Takeshi Hikihara, Permanent Representative of Japan to the International Organizations in Vienna, and Gerd Müller, Director General of UNIDO, reiterated their commitment to address Africa’s key industrial development priorities.
UNIDO’s Director General said, “I sincerely thank the Government of Japan for the close partnership and for its steady commitment to make use of UNIDO’s expertise to support developing countries. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed millions of people back into poverty: in Africa alone, an additional 47 million have fallen into extreme poverty in 2020 and 2021. I stand for renewed partnerships on inclusive and sustainable industrial development in Africa. We need concrete and practical solutions for Africa’s pressing challenges. My motto is “progress by innovation”.”
Müller also referred to the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III), which UNIDO was tasked to lead by the United Nations General Assembly, as an important process in anchoring Africa on a path towards inclusive and sustainable industrial development. He further acknowledged the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), Japan’s flagship process to support African-led development. TICAD8 will be held in August 2022.
In his remarks, Ambassador Hikihara valued the role UNIDO is playing in the IDDA III, and expressed his trust that these projects, the very first ones under the new leadership of UNIDO’s DG Müller, will give a further momentum to TICAD8. “We always have high expectations about UNIDO's ability to facilitate cooperation between partner countries, donors and our private sector for an effective transfer of technologies and know-how...At a time of global hardship and uncertainty, today's event represents our renewed commitment to work together for the stability and prosperity of the international community.”
The project in Cameroon will deliver assistance to improve the national supply chain of personal protective equipment. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the project will assist vulnerable groups of women to create sustainable income-generating activities as a direct response to the pandemic. The project in Ghana aims to strengthen the rice value chain to increase local value addition and, in so doing, create jobs for young people. In Nigeria, the project will build on the findings of a recent UNIDO study on the local plastic waste chain to reduce and better manage plastic waste by adopting circular economy practices and resource-efficient production.
For further information, contact:
Jean-Paul Landrichter, Chief, UNIDO Strategic Relations and Resource Mobilization Division