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Thursday, 29 November 2012

Namibian ambassador to Germany commends UNIDO’s agribusiness in Africa book, says Organization contributes to knowledge transfer

HANOVER, 29 November 2012 – The Namibian Ambassador to Germany, Neville Gertze, who also chairs the Southern African Development Community (SADC) group of ambassadors in Germany, today praised UNIDO’s effort to create awareness and transfer knowledge to Africa by publishing a book on agribusiness.

Speaking at the launch of the book, “Agribusiness for Africa’s Prosperity”, Ambassador Gertze said, “The book demonstrates the knowledge resource transfer capabilities of UNIDO in both agribusiness and industrial development.”

The book outlines the current status of agribusiness and agro-industrial activities in Africa, and positions them in historical and global context. It analyzes the opportunities for diversified growth, and assesses the existing and potential sources of demand growth for agribusiness development in Africa. Seven development pillars are outlined and analyzed in detail: enhancing productivity; upgrading value chains; exploiting international, regional and local demand; strengthening technology and innovation; promoting effective financing; stimulating private participation; and improving infrastructure and energy access.

The launch was hosted by the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Deutscher Industrie- und Handelskammertag, DIHK) and was attended by SADC agriculture ministers, as well as representatives of the private sector in Germany.

Mpoko Bokanga, Chief of UNIDO’s Agribusiness Development Unit, noted the importance of agribusiness and value addition in creating wealth in Africa, and emphasized the need for Germans to bring their technical expertise and financial investment to the region, stating that “the time to invest in Africa is now.”  Bokanga added, “Twenty years from now, it will be too late”.

Patrick Kormawa, co-editor of the book and UNIDO Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, provided examples of how best to tap agribusiness financial resources, increase value addition and create new jobs, especially in the SADC region.

The book is available in English and French under http://www.unido.org/index.php?id=1001692

For further information about "Agribusiness for Africa's Prosperity" and UNIDO's agribusiness programmes, please contact:

Patrick Kormawa
UNIDO Representative to Nigeria
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Philippe Scholtès
Director, UNIDO Agribusiness Development Branch
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