Kenya has lauded progress made in the implementation of Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III).
Speaking during the 39th session of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Budget Committee in Viena, Australia , Principal Secretary in the State Department for Industry Dr. Juma Mukhwana who led the Kenyan delegation, disclosed that in 2022, more than 250 projects, with a total value of US$63.3million.
Excluding interregional and global portfolios, were under implementation in Africa, under the wider framework of IDDA III, including within the Programme for Country Partnerships (PCPs) and Country Programmes (CPs).
Dr Mukhwana disclosed that a tangible manifestation of IDDA III is the Kenya Self-Starter Programme for Country Partnership.
“This initiative, which was signed and launched with UNIDO in September 2021, has commenced, with the Kenya Government taking proactive steps in resource mobilization to ensure its operationalization,” said the Principal Secretary.
He went on : “We are making progress with the implementation of the Self-Starter PCP anchor project, the Integrated Agro-Industrial Park (IAIP) project in Nyamira County. Along these lines, we have been able to conduct an Industrial Study Tour on Integrated Agro-Industrial Parks and the key learnings from the tour are being incorporated into the Self-Starter PCP.”
He added that beyond the IAIP, the Kenya Government has demonstrated its commitment to inclusivity and economic development by allocating substantial financial resources for the establishment of County Aggregation and Industrial Parks across all its 47 counties.
“This initiative aims to enhance farmer incomes and ensure that all devolved Counties participate actively in the national industrialization agenda. Our industrialization drive also extends to targeted Agro-Value-Chain development, establishment of Special Economic Zones, and digitization. We invite UNIDO and all development partners, including private sector investors, to join us in actualizing this ambitious industrialization agenda, “ added Dr Mukhwana.
The Principal Secretary noted that based on the lessons garnered from Kenya’s experiences, he appealed to UNIDO to expand the PCP and the CP initiatives to other African countries, upon their request, to ensure widespread inclusive and sustainable development across the continent.
“We also call on UNIDO to redouble its efforts towards resource mobilization for the existing programs, “ said Dr Mukhwana.
He said Kenya is happy with the collaborative and consultative approach adopted by the Director General in formulating the UNIDO strategy for Africa 2023-2025.
“This strategy promises to serve as a unifying framework for the Organization’s interventions in promoting industrial development across the continent. We are optimistic that this strategy will be finalized and available for deliberation by Ministers during the 20th Session of the General Conference later this year,’ said Dr. Mukhwana.
He went on : “ We continue to encourage UNIDO to endeavor to align the deliverables of IDDA III with those of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) – and additionally stress the important role that a fully established and functional IDDA III Secretariat will play in the full implementation of the IDDA III aspirations, including those related to the AfCFTA.”.
Dr. Mukhwana reaffirmed Kenya’s unwavering commitment to the vision of IDDA III.
“As we come closer to the end of the designated decade, we urge UNIDO to amplify its stewardship role and foster closer collaboration with all stakeholders to support the full implementation of IDDA III,” said the Principal Secretary.
He observed that Kenya views IDDA III as a vital complementary component in the realization of the AU Agenda 2063’s goals of prioritizing economic growth, industrialization, and employment generation over the next three decades.
“The fact that the President of Kenya continues to serve as one of the 10 Head-of-State-Champions for IDDA III is a testament to our willingness to continue advocating for this important global agenda,” said Dr Mukhwana.
The adoption of Resolution A/RES/70/293 by the United Nations General Assembly in July 2016, which proclaimed 2016-2025 as the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III), launched a landmark period in the pursuit of industrial progression in Africa.
UNIDO, in collaboration with various partners, has been spearheading this initiative – with the ultimate objective of giving concrete impetus to the transformation of African countries into locations of competitive industrial production.
UNIDO Director General Mr Gerd Müller, disclosed that this month while in Kenya, he had conversation President William Ruto and which was encouraging.
“It encouraged my optimism that we CAN overcome the problems of our times. Indeed, Kenya gives us an example of what is necessary to overcome poverty and hunger, the consequences of climate change, and the effects of the pandemic, “ he said.
He observed that the World community needs to act, NOW. Global solidarity, a REAL partnership between industrialized countries and the countries of the Global South is necessary.
“In Kenya, one of the most modern geothermal power plants in the world supplies the people there with the power they need. 75% of the energy there comes from renewable sources and is produced climate-neutral, said the Director General.