UNIDO-Italy: A successful long-standing strategic partnership


UNIDO and the Government of Italy have been nurturing a long-standing strategic partnership, which has grown stronger over the years, evidenced by the large portfolio of technical cooperation projects that UNIDO implements with funding from Italy.

Italy is one of the largest governmental donors of UNIDO and is highly engaged in North and sub-Saharan Africa as well as in the Middle East. This partnership seeks to advance development objectives, including the economic empowerment of youth and women; mitigation of the root causes of migration, especially through job creation and private sector development; and the development and upgrading of industries in a socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable manner.

Read on for details about some of the projects recently funded by Italy.

ETHIOPIA: Improving the sustainability and inclusiveness of the Ethiopian coffee value chain through private and public partnership

Project period: January 2015 – April 2020

This project is increasing the social, environmental and economic sustainability of the coffee value chain in partnership with the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority, illycaffe and the Ernesto Illy Foundation.

Support for coffee growers’ cooperatives includes providing farmers with training in best agronomic practices, and staff of the cooperatives with management and financial training. In Delo Mena (Oromia) around 2,000 farmers have received training, while in Aleta Wondo (SNNPR) the number is more than 10,000.

At the value chain level, cooperatives have received support with developing business plans and communication strategies, in developing and building coffee roasting facilities, and developing comprehensive business models. Twenty-one cooperatives have so far received assistance.

At the institutional level, outcomes include study tours to the main coffee-consuming countries, the development of a gap analysis of the country’s coffee sector, and the establishment of a coffee training centre in Addis Ababa.

The successful cooperation between illycaffè and the Ernesto Illy Foundation is being continued in a project improving the coffee value chain in the Cabo Delgado Province of Mozambique.

EGYPT: From cotton seeds to clothing: Enhancing the sustainability, inclusiveness and value addition of the cotton value chain

Project period: January 2017 – June 2020

The project is enhancing the sustainability, inclusiveness and value addition of the long-staple and extra-long staple Egyptian cotton value chain by improving the economic, social and environmental performance of cotton growers and cotton processors, and strengthening support institutions.

The project capitalizes on UNIDO’s well-established expertise on the value chain approach in Egypt and focuses on the promotion of organic and non-contaminated cotton and local value addition (local content and processing), supporting resource efficient cotton processing, fostering B2B linkages in the textile value chain, promoting scientific research in the field of cotton, improving quality, fostering innovation in the textile sector, and enhancing the technical and entrepreneurial skills of Egypt’s young women and men. 

MENA REGION: Promoting women's empowerment for inclusive and sustainable industrial development in the MENA region (phase II)

Project period: September 2017 – June 2022

The overarching goal of Promoting Women’s Empowerment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development in the MENA Region (phase II) is to enhance women economic empowerment in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia by consolidating and expanding results from Promoting Women’s Empowerment Phase I. The project has four objectives: (i) building a more conducive environment for women entrepreneurship development (ii) alleviating the financial barriers to women’s entrepreneurship development; (iii) improving market access for women entrepreneurs; and (iv) increasing business opportunities for women-led businesses in selected value chains. The project is implemented in close cooperation with UN Women and FAO that have strong presence in the MENA region.

MEXICO: HCFC Phase out management plan (stage II)

Project period: May 2014 - July 2021

As part of its commitment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the Government of Mexico has pledged to reduce HCFC consumption by 67.5 per cent of the baseline by 2022. A second stage of the HCFC Phase out Management Plan includes policies to reduce the supply of and demand for HCFCs, monitoring of HCFC production, and public awareness campaigns. In addition, investment and incentive projects are being implemented to drive the phase out of HCFCs at the refrigerator producer, Whirlpool México, and in the aerosol manufacturing sector.

TUNISIA: Facilitating youth employment through entrepreneurship and enterprise development in fourteen vulnerable regions

Project period: November 2012 – December 2021

This public-private partnership project will generate concrete and sustainable employment opportunities for Tunisian youth. Specifically, the project aims to create at least 6,000 jobs, within 690 new businesses, for young men and women in fourteen vulnerable regions of Tunisia within five years. By September 2019, the project had helped create 3,129.5 full time equivalent jobs (includes seasonal jobs. In Tunisia, a season job is estimated at 0.5 of a full time job).

The initiative provides direct support to aspiring and existing entrepreneurs through entrepreneurship training courses, business coaching and technical assistance to foster the creation of new, and the growth of existing, enterprises. It also helps enhance the knowledge and capacity of local business support and higher educational institutions.

The project approach is in line with the strategy of the Government of Tunisia to promote private sector development through small and medium enterprise (SME) creation in Tunisia's interior regions.

More information about these and other projects may be found here.