Election of African Candidate for UNIDO Chief Can Boost Industrialisation – Expert

The possible election of an African candidate for the position of the Director- General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) can boost industrialisation in the continent.

An Ethiopian expert has said on Wednesday.

Speaking to Xinhua, Costantinos Bt. Costantinos, Professor of Public Policy at the Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, said Arkebe Equbay, who is Africa’s candidate for the D-G position of UNIDO could help boost industrialisation in the continent if he wins the top position at the UN agency.

Equbay is from Ethiopia and competing with two other candidates, Gerd Muller from Germany and Bernardo Calzadilla Sarmiento from Bolivia to replace outgoing UNIDO chief Li Yong of China.

The members of UNIDO will convene at its forty-ninth session taking place from July12 to July 15, to elect and recommend a candidate for appointment as Director-General for a term of four years to the General Conference, which will hold its 19th session from Nov. 29 to Dec. 3.

The candidate to be appointed at the General Conference will succeed the current Director-General of UNIDO.

“Much of the western countries and eastern countries like China have developed their industrial potential, so the focus will now be developing the industrial potential in Africa,’’ said Costantinos.

“Equbay will have a lot of roles in terms of contributing to the development of industrial parks and industry in general in Africa if he is elected,’’ Costantinos said.

Costantinos said Equbay’s successful role in the development of Ethiopia’s Chinese-built industrial parks “is a good reference to the previous activities of the potential future UNIDO chief.’’

“Equbay has a seminal career in terms of developing industrial parks in Ethiopia and managing cities.

“He transformed Addis Ababa to what it is today,’’ said Costantinos, who is also an economic advisor to the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

“If Equbay makes it to be D-G of UNIDO, he has the energy and has developed himself intellectually,’’ he said.

Costantinos noted UNIDO’s role was primarily to provide intellectual capacity for countries to develop their industries, adding that Equbay’s possible role to be head of the UN agency could be a boost in this regard too.

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