Climate Change: Africa May Be Worst Hit, Says UNIDO

20 Dec 2011

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Director General, UNIDO Dr. Kandeh Yumkella

By Crusoe Osagie

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has sounded a note of warning that the African continent may be the worst hit by the effect of global warming.

The Director General, UNIDO Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, explained that Africa would suffer more if the rate of global warming continues to increase, posing a threat to natural resources and habitats in the world.

Yumkella, during his anniversary lecture at the 10th anniversary of the Bank of Industry (BOI), said climate change is one of the biggest long-term risks to global development.

“Climate change is the single biggest environmental and humanitarian crisis of our time. The earth's atmosphere is overloaded with heat-trapping carbon dioxide, which threatens large-scale disruptions in climate with disastrous consequences. We must act now to spur the adoption of cleaner energy sources at home and abroad,” he said.

He said solving global warming would improve lives by cleaning up air pollution while investing in clean energy, green jobs and smart energy solutions.

“We need to drive smarter cars, save money with energy efficient homes and offices, and build better communities and transportation networks. This is how we can solve the climate crisis today,” he said

He however stated that food crisis is still a major concern in the continent, adding that “the rising population in the continent is a time bomb waiting to explode due to the continent’s inability to meet the growing demand for food.”

“The increase in population is alarming and we need to as a matter of urgency develop ways to boost food security in the continent to meet the demand for food,” he said.

According to him, Nigeria would double its population in the next 40 years, pointing out that the country needs to map out strategies to ensure that its citizen do not go hungry.

He said Africa’s overdependence of commodity is not the right path to go in order to ensure sustainable growth, but stressed the need to diversify into higher quality products that would take the continent above the poverty line.

He said most of the developing economies in the world have been able to diversify their economy from being a mono-product economy to a multi product economy, saying that this is the way for Nigeria to go if it desires to make any sustainable economic growth.

The Director General stated that the role of the manufacturing industry cannot be over-emphasised and said that the cost of doing business in Nigeria is killing many factories thereby militating the potentials of the sector to provide job opportunities for the nation’s teeming youth.

“Nigeria needs to do more in improving its infrastructural facilities because the cost of doing business in Nigeria currently is not good, lack of energy is killing the industry. Nigeria needs to make bold decisions to drive industrialisation,” he said.

He pointed out that Nigeria has all it takes to be the cassava feeder of the world and to be a major exporter of ethanol.

Also speaking at the event, the Managing Director, BOI, Ms Evelyn Oputu, said the bank had come from a long way to be a leading self sustaining development finance institution, operating under sound management and banking principles that would promote the emergence and development of a virile competitive industrial sector in Nigeria.

She said the mission of the bank is to transform Nigeria's industrial sector integrating it into the global economy by providing financial and business support services to attain modern capabilities for the production of goods that are competitive in both the domestic and external markets.

In a bid to drive the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country, the Managing Director presented cheques to beneficiaries of the BOI and Dangote MSME fund.

She called on well-meaning Nigerians to emulate the kind gesture shown by the Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Group, Mr. Aliko Dangote, saying that it would go a long way in driving MSME operations and industrialisation in the country.

She also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the bank and the Oyo State Government for the establishment of a joint MSME development fund.

Tags: Business, Nigeria, Featured, Climate Change, UNIDO, Africa

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    The premier Nigeria Alternative Energy Expo (NAEE 2011) saw participation from 17 countries representing all 6 continents and 147 registered companies.
    It began with a symposium on day one - October 17th where participants where intimated on the intricacies of the Nigerian and indeed the African alternative energy climate with particular emphasis on opportunities, challenges and developments in Nigeria. Several notable speakers and experts from various sectors of the alternative energy divide provided insights to set the tone for the exhibitions and business match-making sessions which took place subsequently. Topics and papers covered during the symposium can be downloaded from our site.
    Worthy of note also was the intense participation of the World Bank/IFC programme – the Lighting Africa Project, which took the lead alongside partner companies in exhibiting several rigorously tested products that represent the effort to ensure that quality standards are entrenched, and that the end-user who is often vulnerable, only gets durable and dependable products. The Lighting Africa Project held an awareness programme on day two – October 18th where they introduced their programme designed to set standards for the fledgling industry, companies and their products which have successfully passed the standards tests, modalities for participation by interested manufacturers, and benefits of successfully passing these standards tests including, subsidies funded by the World Bank/IFC to ensure affordability at the bottom of the pyramid. More on this can be found on our website
    Companies from Switzerland, Germany, Uganda, China, India, Japan and of course Nigeria to mention just a few also delighted participants with a retinue of innovative products tailored to meet the subsistence energy demands of Nigerian homes including those off-grid (i.e. not on the national electricity grid). It was estimated that a whopping 30 – 50% of Nigerians are not connected to the national grid.
    Regulators were also not left out, with the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the Energy Commission, Ministry of Power and Renewable energy programme of the ministry of environment all participants at the Expo. A goodwill message was also received from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) demonstrating the commitment of all stakeholders to Nigeria’s energy sufficiency. All these culminated in the award and presentation of certificates to exhibitors and participants at the Expo on day three – October 19th. For a detailed report on the Expo and a comprehensive brochure on the companies that attended, please see our website address provided herein.
    At the symposium, this Expo established and resolved that:
    - In spite of concerted action taken by the various governments and their agencies, a lot more needs to be done and as such, government actions must be complimented by an aggressive industry-led revolution that drives the proliferation of energy solutions right across the nation and continent.
    - A match must be made between manufacturers, their distributors on one hand, and the financial services industry and the end-users on the other to ensure that much needed products get to those who really need them and are affordable. A microfinance perspective was strongly recommended to catalyze this revolution and ensure maximum spread.
    - The World Bank/IFC Lighting Africa Project presents a viable standardization process that should be leveraged to ensure quality is delivered to the end-user in order to prevent apathy to much needed solutions resulting from past experiences with non-durable and non-dependable products. It is a shared objective that we must rid homes of toxic kerosene-based products which are doing immeasurable damage to the users. It was also agreed that,
    - The time for inspired action is NOW including a commitment by stakeholders to invest in community enlightenment programmes and other creative corporate social responsibility initiatives to achieve energy sufficiency, as the impact on education, health and the livelihood of beneficiary communities cannot be overemphasized.
    The next Event is on the 17th to the 19th September 2012.
    Find out more at

    From: Chris Edeh

    Posted: 3 years ago

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