AU endorses senior Ethiopian government official to lead UNIDO

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA - MARCH 18: People walk through the main lobby at the headquarters of the African Union (AU) on March 18, 2013 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Ethiopia, with an estimated 91 million inhabitants, is the second most populated country in Africa and the per capita income is $1,200. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The African Union endorsed Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia Arkebe Oqubay to be the continent’s candidate in the race to be the next Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

FILE PHOTO: People walk through the main lobby at the headquarters of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Ethiopia. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

“The 38th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union held on 3 and 4 February 2021 unanimously endorsed the candidature of Dr. Arkebe Oqubay of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, as the sole African candidate for the post of Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO),” the AU said in a statement released last week.

In endorsing his candidature, African leaders expressed their confidence in Oqubay’s “formidable leadership qualities” which will achieve “equitable and sustainable global industrialization”, the statement added.

The 64-year-old is a former mayor of the Ethiopian capital city, Addis Ababa, and regional state governor and has also served as chair and vice-chair on the boards of several leading public corporations.

Oqubay has been involved in policy-making and government leadership for more than three decades during which he championed bold reforms and played a key role in Ethiopia’s economic transformation, according to his website.

UNIDO is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability.

UNIDO is currently led by Ll Yong of China who has been in office since June 2013 and was reelected in November 2017 for a second four-year term.