Kenya Statement

Industrial Development Board, twenty-eighth session

Statement by Mr. Petkay Miriti, Assistant Minister for Trade and Industry, Kenya

Kenya's Assistant Minister for Trade and Industry, Petkay Miriti welcomed the increase in the level of technical cooperation delivery mentioned by the Director-General in his opening statement. However, little or no progress had been made in sub-Saharan Africa on halving income poverty in line with the Millennium Development Goals, and it was becoming increasingly evident that the this would not be achieved without a radical reversal of economic decline in the region. The role of UNIDO in that regard was vital as private sector development was the key to revitalizing the region's industrial capacity. Industrialization should therefore be mainstreamed into poverty reduction programmes in the countries of the region, through more prominent UNIDO participation in national development processes. Kenya greatly appreciated the expansion of UNIDO's integrated programme to cover the areas of mini-hydro power for rural development, women's entrepreneurship capacity development and investment benchmarking, in addition to the original priority areas of dairy, leather, fish and honey. A more robust approach to the implementation of the integrated programme would have considerable multiplier effects, particularly in the context of the ongoing efforts to deepen integration in the region.

His delegation was encouraged to note that the Director-General's strategic vision for the Organization focused on reinforcing the various links between entrepreneurship, technology, productivity enhancement and economic growth through sustainable industrial development. His delegation welcomed the forthcoming South-South Trade Forum to be held in Beijing and urged the Organization to play a central role in the mobilization of additional resources for South-South cooperation. One of the factors that had contributed to Africa's poor record of development had been an overemphasis on trade at the expense of the development of productive capacities. He therefore particularly welcomed the African Productive Capacity Initiative, which sought to elaborate the critical role of value addition, productivity and competitiveness in achieving higher growth rates in Africa. It was also to be hoped that donor countries would consider making contributions to the African Productive Capacity Facility, the funding mechanism for the Initiative.