Nigeria/UNIDO Have Largest Cooperation in Africa with over $30m Portfolio
· Both Parties Commit to Deepen Relationship
As the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) marks 50 years of existence, it has emerged that the institution has the largest cooperation in Africa with Nigeria, with over thirty projects and financial portfolio of over $30m.
This was made known during the 50th Anniversary Expo in Vienna, Austria, Monday, attended by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investement, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah,
The Minister was representing President Muhammadu Buhari.
Key among the projects taking place in Nigeria are, renewable energy specifically meant to support industrial activities in the country; projects on trade capacity building; programmes on supporting the environment; and support to special economic zones such as the Staples Crops Processing Zones.
One of the success stories is located in Taraba State where the Highland Tea Factory made a profit for the first time after 18 years in operation with the installation of a 400Kw small hydro power plant with UNIDO assistance in 2015
UNIDO had also recently set up an Investment and Technology Promotion office (ITPO) – the first of its kind in Africa. The objective is to utilize the UNIDO Network across the globe in countries like Japan, China, South Korea and Italy to proactively support investments and technology transfer to Nigeria and the West Africa Region.
Dr. Enelamah acknowledged UNIDO’s efforts towards the passing of the Resolution on the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa 2016-2025 at the United Nations General Assembly meeting on the 25th of July, 2016
He expressed hope that UNIDO will be able to develop a blue print for the mobilization of the required resources and the implementation of the resolution
The Minister also noted the role played by UNIDO in bringing attention to Africa’s need for industrialization at the G20 Summit in Hangzho, China last September. He said that this industrialization push is in line with the explicit goal and agenda 2063 of the African Union
“Looking forward, UNIDO as an organization has to ask some pertinent questions. What should we be doing to make the next 50 years better than the past 50 years”, said the Minister.
He continued: “how can we partner more collaboratively with member states to ensure that we achieve the objectives of ending poverty and that all human beings can fulfill their potential?”
Dr. Enelamah asked UNIDO do undertake a self evaluation to make sure that it continues to be relevant to the industrialization agenda of member states as well as replicate some of the successes across all the member states
He assured UNIDO of Nigeria’s continued cooperation, saying that the organization has a track record and ability to reinvent itself in ways that will enable member states achieve their industrialization agenda.
On his part, the Director General of UNIDO, Mr. Li Yong said that the 50 years anniversary provides the organization an opportunity to reflect on the past.
“It is also an opportunity to chart a new path for a sustainable future. Today, UNIDO is in full gear and stands ready to tirelessly assist countries around the world in eradicating poverty and advancing inclusive and sustainable industrial development,” he stated.
In addition to projects on the ground, UNIDO provides member states an avenue to exchange experiences on industrial concepts and consequences. UNIDO also has the convening power to exchange views on very high levels and advocacy for African countries in global forums.
Constance C. Ikokwu
Strategic Communications Adviser to HM