ADDIS ABABA, 11 October 2022 – Gerd Müller, Director General of UNIDO, and his delegation, held a fruitful meeting with Josefa Sacko, African Union Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment. At the heart of the discussion was agreement on the need to strengthen intra-African value chains, especially in agricultural goods.
Commissioner Sacko explained that the African Union is pushing to establish regional zones where countries can use their comparative advantage to boost regional trade, for example, rice from West Africa and cereals from East Africa. She also gave details about the Common African Agro-Parks Programme to establish cross-border parks to strengthen regional trade.
A first demonstration project straddling the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe is to start soon.
Director General Müller highlighted UNIDO’s work on integrated agro-industrial parks and agro-poles in Ethiopia and Senegal respectively, and suggested collaboration on this topic with the African Union. He said, in Africa, industrialization means agribusiness, and he invited Sacko to attend the forthcoming Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification in Niger in late November. He added that the private sector, especially food producers, should also participate.