UNDP Africa Head wraps up Ethiopia visit

09 Feb 2014

image Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, Director of UNDP Africa, at the 22nd African Union Summit

The Director of UNDP Africa, Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, returned from a nine-day visit to Addis Ababa, where he attended the 22nd Summit of the African Union (AU) and held a series of meetings with Ethiopian officials and regional partners, as well as Country Office and Regional Service Centre staff.

The Summit hosted a donors' conference in Addis Ababa to raise money for the African-led peacekeeping force in the Central African Republic. Mr. Dieye promised to make UNDP’s expertise, country presence and South-South network available to support Africa’s peace and security efforts.

“Pan-Africanism and solidarity are rooted in our African heritage, culture and tradition. African solidarity yields high returns on peace security and development,” he told participants in his address.

International donors pledged $314 million to fund an African peacekeeping force known as MISCA in the Central African Republic. “Whenever there is a crisis UNDP is the last to leave,” Mr. Dieye told journalists at the conference.

On the margins of the Summit, Mr. Dieye met with the Commissioner for Economic Affairs of the African Union Commission (AUC), Anthony Mothae Maruping, focusing in on UNDP’s support for a regional project led by the AU that aims to strengthen trade and economic integration across the continent.

He also met with the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Carlos Lopes, aiming to strengthen the collaboration between the two institutions on issues such as extractive industries and the generation of knowledge.

Mr. Dieye met with the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn and the country’s Finance Minister, discussing with them Ethiopia’s growth, its development progress and its regional presence. Ethiopia is aspiring to become a Middle Income Country with a fully-fledged green economy by 2025.

He also met with the Country Office in Addis Ababa and spoke of the vision and plan for the years ahead at UNDP, briefing staff on the strategic plan and change management effort. Having repositioned itself, UNDP Ethiopia is now involved in a series of programmes that reflect the upstream policy work the organization is leaning towards.

These programmes include support for the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) and Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), as well as an ambitious entrepreneurship development scheme, all of them very productive.

ATA is supporting 2 million farmers, with up to 100 percent yield increases, while the Entrepreneurship Development Centre is expected to help create 100,000 new businesses, many of them headed by youths and women. Mr. Dieye met with the heads of both institutions during his trip.

At the end of his visit, Mr. Dieye attended a two-day retreat at the recently inaugurated Regional Service Center for Africa. He discussed with staff the center’s role in partnerships with regional institutions, Country Office support, oversight of UNDP Africa’s ambitious new regional programme and generation of knowledge and innovation.