Election of African candidate for UNIDO chief position can boost industrialization: expert

2021-06-09 13:30:11 GMT2021-06-09 21:30:11(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

ADDIS ABABA, June 9 (Xinhua) -- The possible election of an African candidate for the upcoming Director General position of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) can boost industrialization in the continent, an Ethiopian expert has said.

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 DG position of UNIDO can help boost industrialization in the continent if he wins the top position at the UN agency.

Equbay, who is from Ethiopia, is 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 the Industrial Development Board of UNIDO will convene at its forty-ninth session, taking place from July12 to 15, 2021, 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 nineteenth session from November 29 to December 3, 2021.

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 be now developing the industrial potential in Africa," said Costantinos.

"Arkebe 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's elected," Costantinos further said.

Costantinos also 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.

"Arkebe 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 Arkebe Equbay makes it to be DG of UNIDO, he has the energy and has developed himself intellectually," he further said.

Noting that UNIDO's role is to primarily provide intellectual capacity for countries to develop their industries, Costantinos said Equbay's possible role to be head of the UN agency can be a boost in this regard too. Enditem