The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to step up collaboration that will boost Africa’s industrialisation.
The AfDB in 2016 launched its Industrialisation Strategy for Africa 2016 to 2025, which was the outcome of collaborative work with Unido and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
The signing of the MoU is key to the implementation of the strategy.
“The bank already benefits enormously from Unido’s expertise in developing policies, programmes and knowledge tools which supports our member countries to industrialise,” said AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina.
In 2017, the bank allocated $1.2-billion to industrialise Africa – one of its top five development priorities – mostly for projects for financial sector operations.
The new agreement facilitates AfDB and Unido’s cooperation on joint activities in areas of shared interest in areas for example agro-industry development, circular economy, eco-industrial parks, investment in innovation and technology, enterprise development, trade and capacity-building, and access to finance.
The two entities have already initiated working level collaboration including within the framework of Unido’s flagship Programme for Country Partnership (PCP) model, which helps synchronise development efforts and mobilise resources to support countries in accelerating industrialisation.
The bank and Unido recently undertook a joint mission to Morocco as part of the initial development of the PCP and will continue exploring cooperation opportunities in the ongoing PCPs in Senegal and Ethiopia. Collaboration has also been initiated for the establishment of staple crop processing zones in a select number of African countries.
The MoU was signed by Adesina and Unido MD Philippe Scholtès in Busan, Republic of Korea, on the sidelines of the yearly meeting of the boards of governors of the AfDB group, held under the theme of “accelerating Africa’s industrialisation”.
The signing ceremony was attended by African industry ministers, representatives of regional member States, development partners and private sector executives.