International Parliamentary Conference «Russia-Africa: Horizons of Cooperation»

June 21, 2010

International Parliamentary Conference «Russia-Africa: Horizons of Cooperation»

MOSCOW, 15-16 June 2010 — The International Parliamentary Conference «Russia-Africa: Horizons of Cooperation» took place in Moscow. Deputies of the State Duma of Russia, members of the Federation Council of Russia, deputies of the African national parliaments, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, ambassadors of the African countries, representatives of other governmental institutions, business community and experts from Russia and 39 African states met for discussions in friendly atmosphere.

UNIDO Director-General, Kandeh K. Yumkella, was invited to the Conference. During his speech the Director-General noted that UNIDO was working with the Russian Federation on a range of technology transfer and capacity building projects, including in Africa. He also called on Russian business to invest in Africa.

“We have countless numbers of doctors, engineers, intellectuals that have benefitted from training in Russia. I am very pleased to see that Russia is stepping forward again after almost two decades of absence to strengthen partnerships with Africa.”

Africa is not only a significant reservoir of human resources ready for active engagement in the continental and global economy, but also a vast potential market for both global traders and investors.

But Yumkella cautioned that for business to come to Africa the countries of the continent need “good governance, clear, transparent political systems, and good policies so that investments will be safe.”

The UNIDO Director-General said his recent meetings with Russian officials showed the country’s commitment to work with UNIDO on technology transfer and capacity building projects.

In May, UNIDO launched a project funded by Russia to help build the technical capacity of Sierra Leone’s fishing sector and apply cost-effective seafood processing technologies. Russia is also funding UNIDO environmental and technology promotion projects in the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC), including on improving water quality and reducing negative regional and transboundary impact from industrial activities within the middle and lower Volga River basin. It will help identify, evaluate and prioritise pollution “hot-spots” in the basins of trans-border reservoirs and transfer environmentally sound technologies.

Another project will help create a Centre for environmentally safe disposal of potentially hazardous consumer products and industrial wastes.

To listen to the full address by Director-General Yumkella, please go to: