African Union’s landmark decision – Arkebe for UNIDO

March 10, 2021

The African Union unanimously endorsed ACET Board member Dr. Arkebe Oqubay as the sole African candidate for the post of Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) at the 38th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union (AU), held February 3-4, 2021.

Dr. Arkebe has been a member of the ACET Board since 2019 and also serves as the Senior Minister and Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia.

He has been at the center of policymaking and government leadership for more than 30 years. He played a key role in Ethiopia’s economic transformation at different levels of government—as mayor of the capital city Addis Ababa, as regional state governor, and as federal government cabinet minister.  He was recognized by the New African as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans of 2016 and a “leading thinker on Africa’s strategic development” for his work on industrialization and industrial policies.

Dr. Arkebe is the founder and chair of Policy Research Dialogue for Africa, an initiative that promotes the economic transformation, sustainable development, and economic governance of developing countries. He holds a PhD in development studies from SOAS, University of London.

At the AU Executive Council session, African leaders expressed their confidence in Dr. Arkebe’s ability to serve as UNIDO Director General due to his strong leadership qualities and commitment to ensuring equitable and sustainable global industrialization.

If his candidature is successful, Dr. Arkebe has said he intends to ensure that UNIDO gains prominence in the post-COVID-19 era. His stated vision for the organization includes a focus on carbon-neutral industrialization, the promotion of inclusive and sustainable industrialization and an emphasis on partnerships and collaboration.

The next UNIDO Director General will be appointed at the nineteenth session of the UNIDO General Conference, which is scheduled to take place November 29 to December 3 in Vienna, Austria.

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