By FRANKLIN ALLI, with Agency report
United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) plans to inject another $200 million (about N31.8 billion) towards industrialising Nigeria and other African countries over the next six years, said Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, its Director-General.
In Nigeria, the organisation is working with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and the private sector to implement rice husk fuel plant project in Ebonyi, an $820,000 shoe factory in Delta State; mini hydro power stations, among other projects across Nigeria.
In a speech on “Hope, Opportunity and Responsibility” delivered recently during African Union Summit, the DG said since 2008 till date, the organisation has spent $100 million (about N15.9 billion) on the industrial sectors in Africa, with another $200 million (N31.8 billion) in the pipeline.
He stressed that the money would be spent on the organisation’s various industrials projects such as energy, trade capacity – building, pharmaceutical manufacturing and the Accelerated Agribusiness and Agro-industries Development Initiative (3ADI) initiative.
“During my tenure at UNIDO, there has been a significant increase in the number, types and quality of programmes that we have delivered in Africa. All of these activities fit within the overall framework for Africa’s industrial development – the African Union Action Plan for the Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa (AIDA), formulated by the African Union Commission with UNIDO’s assistance, and endorsed by your Excellences’ at the 2008 Summit. We have worked with various Commissioners to consolidate the economic pillars of AU’s Mandate.
Citing examples of what UNIDO has delivered for Africa, Yumkella said, “We supported the AU to institutionalise the Conference of African Ministers of Industry. The Secretariats of NEPAD, the RECs, and the governments of Egypt, South Africa and Algeria, provided significant political leadership and technical support to ensure that CAMI becomes a viable organ of the AU.
Major focus on agribusiness development, with your support, the Accelerated Agribusiness and Agro-industries Development Initiative (3ADI) initiative endorsed by the AU Summit in 2010 has gained momentum and is being implemented in over 13 countries with over 10 more in the pipeline.
“The goal of the 3ADI is to have an agriculture sector in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) which, by the year 2020, is made up of highly productive and profitable agricultural value chains.