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Sierra Leone:


Posted on on October 25th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

The Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) is a regional group of fifteen countries, founded in 1975. Its mission is to promote economic integration in “all fields of economic activity, particularly industry, transport, telecommunications, energy, agriculture, natural resources, commerce, monetary and financial questions, social and cultural matters”

Barely finished with its 40th birtday, IIASA together with Vienna based UNIDO and GFSE (Global Forum on Sustainable Energy) these institutions will have people travel t0 Accra, Ghana in order to team up with ECOWAS in order to launch the SE4All project that is spearheaded for the UN by Mr. Yumkella – the Director of UNIDO.

This summer we received the following:

It said – Before the Austrian summer is over I would like to inform you about recent developments and major up-coming events –

  • The GFSE continues to support the UN-SG’s Initiative “Sustainable Energy for All” ad has entered a commitment at
  • One important way of making good on this commitment will be the ECOWAS High Level Forum “Towards Sustainable Energy For All in West Africa”,
    29 – 31 October in Accra, Ghana
    . GFSE partners with ECREEE (the Ecowas Centre on Rnewable Energy and Energy Efficiency and UNIDO to launch the UN Sustainable Energy for All Initiative in the ECOWAS region and establish an implementation framework for the ECOWAS region. The HLF will see the adoption by ECOWAS Energy Ministers of the ECOWAS Renewable Energy Policy and its corresponding Action Plan; adopt the ECOWAS Small Scale Hydro Power Program; present ECOWAS energy efficiency initiatives on standards and labeling, lighting, electricity distribution, financing and report on the progress of the GEF-UNIDO Strategic Program for West Africa (SPWA) and launch the ECOWAS Observatory on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECOREX).
  • Upon the encouragement of Executive Secretary Christine Lins, GFSE will join the REN21 network in the rubric of CSO.
  • Building on the successful 2009 Vienna Energy Conference and the 2011 Vienna Energy Forum, GFSE will cooperate with Austrian and partners to organize the 2013 Vienna Energy Forum in late spring 2013. Announcements on the date and major thematic thrust will follow in early fall.

Many good wishes and best regards

Irene Giner-Reichl

President, GFSE

GFSE has entered a commitment to “Sustainable Energy For All”
The GFSE continues to support the UN-SG’s Initiative “Sustainable Energy for All” and has entered a commitment at . The commitment is “to raise awareness for and commitment to SE4ALL in Austria, to lobby for an Austrian nation SE4ALL action plan, to foster partnerships around concrete implementation proposals and to liaise with international processes”.


ECOWAS High Level Forum: “Towards Sustainable Energy for All in West Africa” 29 – 31 October 2012 , Accra
The ECOWAS Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), the Global Forum for Sustainable Energy (GSFE), and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) are jointly organizing a three-day High Level Forum “Towards Sustainable Energy for All in West Africa” from 29 to 31 of October 2012, in Accra, Ghana.


SE4ALL press release: UN Secretary-General Announces Significant Commitments to Action in support of Achieving Sustainable Energy for All
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that more than one hundred commitments and actions have been already mobilized in support of his Sustainable Energy for All initiative, demonstrating powerful early momentum from governments, private sector companies and civil society organizations to achieve Sustainable Energy for All by 2030.



Österreichische Energieagentur – Austrian Energy Agency
Mariahilferstraße 136
1150 Vienna
Phone: +43 1 586 15 24-0
Fax: +43 1 586 15 24-40


29 October 2012 – 31 October 2012

The Accra International Conference Centre, Accra, Ghana

ECOWAS-GFSE-GEF-UNIDO High Level Energy Forum

The Energy Forum, organized jointly by ECOWAS, GFSE and UNIDO, will feature the Global Energy Assessment from the 29-31 October, 2012 in Accra, Ghana.

The ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), the Global Forum for Sustainable Energy (GSFE), and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) are jointly organizing an ECOWAS-GFSE-UNIDO High Level Energy Forum on “Paving the Way for Sustainable Energy for All in West Africa through Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency” from the 29–31 October 2012, in Accra, Ghana. The event is hosted by the Government of Ghana.

The  High Level Energy Forum aims at the following objectives:

  1. launch the UN Sustainable Energy For All Initiative (SE4All) in the ECOWAS region and establish an implementation framework of for the ECOWAS region;
  2. adopt the ECOWAS Renewable Energy Policy and  its corresponding Action Plan by the ECOWAS Energy Ministers;
  3. adopt the ECOWAS Energy Efficiency Policy and its corresponding Action Plan by the ECOWAS Energy Ministers;
  4. adopt the ECOWAS Small Scale Hydro Power Program;
  5. present the ECOWAS energy efficiency initiatives on standards and labelling, lighting, electricity distribution, financing and efficient cooking; and
  6. report on the progress of theGEF-UNIDO Strategic Program for West Africa (SPWA)andlaunch the ECOWAS Observatory for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECOREX).

For further information and registration to the Forum, please visit the ECREEE website.


Posted on on April 4th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

The United Nations Foundation and The United Nations Association of the USA


– – –

2012 award honorees to include

Archbishop Desmond TutuNobel Peace Prize Recipient

VarietyThe Entertainment Industry’s Preeminent News Organization

Kandeh YumkellaDirector General, UNIDO and UN ENERGY, and the GREEN ECONOMY.

– – –

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Cipriani 42nd Street

New York City

To reserve tables or tickets and for sponsorship information, please contact

Mary-Frances Wain at 202-778-3539 or


Posted on on August 25th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (

from Kreisky Forum <>
date Wed, Aug 25, 2010

Mittwoch, 8. September 2010, 19.00 Uhr

im Rahmen der Reihe Talking for Peace. A Karl Kahane Lecture Series laden wir Sie sehr herzlich zu der

folgenden Veranstaltung ein:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010, 7.00 p.m.


Opening event in the framework of the 2010 International Meeting of National Committees for UNIFEM (Part of UN Women) presented by DER STANDARD

Welcome: Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek, Federal Minister for Women and Civil Service

Introduction to UN Resolution 1325: Maj. Gen. Johann Pucher, National Security Policy Director, Federal Ministry of Defence and Sports

Keynote: Inés Alberdi, Executive Director of UNIFEM (Part of UN Women)


Sonja Biserko, Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, Serbia

Taghreed El-Khodary, New York Times, Gaza

Liberata Mulamula, Executive Secretary, International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, Burundi

Anat Saragusti, Executive Director of Agenda, Israel

Moderator: Gudrun Harrer, Senior Editor, DER STANDARD

In cooperation with

the Austrian National Committee for UNIFEM (Part of UN Women)

and the support of the Federal Chancellery, the Federal Ministry for Women and Civil Service,
the Federal Ministry of Defence and Sports (Directorate for Security Policy,
and the Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation.

Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue | Armbrustergasse 15 | 1190 Wien

Please register: Tel.: 3188260/20 | Fax: 318 82 60/10 | e-mail:

Melitta Campostrini
Bruno Kreisky Forum
for International Dialogue
Armbrustergasse 15
A-1190 Vienna


Posted on on June 4th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune was down in the Gulf again this week. He said that if we all saw what he saw — pelicans struggling to fly under the weight of globs of oil, dolphins swimming through oil slicks — we’d be storming Washington D.C. calling for leadership and action.

And that’s exactly what we’re going to do — we’re launching a bold new campaign to move our nation Beyond Oil.

Watching the largest environmental disaster in our nation’s history unfold has been infuriating — it’s clear that there is no quick fix to clean up this mess. We need to make sure this type of disaster never happens again.

Are you fed up? Sickened by what you’re seeing in the Gulf? This is the time to join together and help break our nation free from Big Oil’s stranglehold.

The Sierra Club will be holding rallies and events, running ads, and engaging people all across the country to generate a movement to move Beyond Oil. We have never needed President Obama’s visionary leadership more than we do right now — it’s time to stop letting the oil industry call the shots, and to start embracing clean energy, he said.

But nay, this is not the attitude of everyone, not even from among those most afflicted by the disaster.

We just saw on CNN the lady President of Lafourche Parish of Louisiana defending the drilling for oil because 60% of the people there are employed by the oil industry and 60 years there was no major problem she said.

The Nation must understand that we need to continue drilling she said. If you put on a hold on drilling the rigs may move to West Africa and never come back here. This will only cause more foreign oil that will be coming here.

That also echoes what I heard the other night from a US Department of State official. State is actively out after a list of over ten countries that are being encouraged to look for oil and start develop their resources. This is not a matter of foreign aid – but of security he said, though I wondered if we speak the same language – if we both understand the same thing when uttering security.

The countries mentioned are: Papua New Guinea, Timor L’Este, Uganda, Suriname, Guiana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Mozambique, Sri Lanka, Vietnam.

I remarked that except for Vietnam all of theses countries are countries in conflict and thought to myself that an influx of oil money will surely re-inflame civil strife and government suppression. That is what you get for having oil!

This seems the sequel to our posting –

(Ligeti’s “Le Grand Macabre” of gluttonous Breughelland, explains the Louisiana suffering and Washington’s long standing lack of care. Amazing indeed!)


Posted on on April 29th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (

from WICKREMASINGHE, Ravindra <>
date Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 4:48 AM
subject Views of the UNIDO DG on the green energy-based industrial revolution

Hello Pincas Jawetz,

I have the honour to submit some comments of and by the Director-General of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO),  Dr Kandeh K. Yumkella of Sierra Leone, on the food, fuel and financial crises afflicting the world and the solutions that he proposes, including the role of women as energy entrepreneurs.  Under his leadership UNIDO is committed to sustainable industrial development.

As you may be aware that Dr. Yumkella is the Chair of UN-Energy and also the Chair of the UNSG’s Advisory Group on Energy and Climate. The report was released in New York yesterday and it can be found at the link below.

He was unanimously reelected for a second four year term in December 2009.

Thank you and best wishes

Mr. Ravindra Wickremasinghe

Advocacy Unit




Office: 00431 26026 5022

Mobile : 004369911123504

[Report] UN Secretary-General’s advisory group report calls for new initiative to bring clean energy to the poor[tt_news]=467&cHash=db2f49a6e6

UNIDO Director-General Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella

Snow Days, Pancakes, and Energy Justice

The Huffington Post

October 30, 2009

… Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella, Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), opens the conference with the three F’s: food, fuel, and financial crisis. As a result of these F’s, 100 million people have been pushed back to living on $1 a day, causing food riots that are rapidly spreading to a “full scale, full world crisis.” Dr Yumkella speaks of living his own personal dichotomy, having come from a small village in Sierra Leone?the third poorest country?and currently living in Vienna with the best of everything. When he travels back to his village, he brings a generator and bottled water, because there is no electricity or potable drinking water. His passionate work for energy justice is grounded in his personal experience of this extreme energy disparity…

Cabler of the Week: Timothy E. Wirth

Posted By Josh Rogin  Friday, February 12, 2010

Josh Rogin reports on national security and foreign policy from the Pentagon to Foggy Bottom, the White House to Embassy Row, for

The Cable.

Where we ask questions that help us to understand one of the personalities making foreign policy in the age of Obama: This week’s subject: U.N. Foundation President Timothy E. Wirth

1. Which American president do you look to as the model for your approach to foreign policy ideology? Jefferson, Wilson, FDR, LBJ, JFK, George W. Bush, someone else?

I think the Roosevelts did a great job – all three of them! Teddy Roosevelt promoted a strong but humble foreign policy (“walk softly but carry a big stick”) and won the Nobel Prize for his work negotiating a peace settlement between Russia and Japan. He was engaged in the world and had a vision for shared progress through such endeavors as the Panama Canal.

FDR helped steer us successfully through the Second World War and inspired the nation to greatness. He helped broker the deal that resulted in the creation of the UN. And he supported his wife as she became a worldwide leader on behalf of human rights. Eleanor Roosevelt’s work on behalf of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights remains one of the most important contributions to human dignity and progress.

2. How do you view U.S. hegemony leadership in the world in the 21st century? Is America a hegemon in decline or going strong? Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

We live in an interdependent age.  No one nation – not even one as well-intentioned and powerful as the United States – can go it alone in addressing the great global challenges we face.  This reality is both humbling and inspiring. Humbling because even as strong as we are, we must recognize the limits of our power and the necessity of international cooperation. Inspiring because the United States has the responsibility and opportunity to lead in solving the world’s great global challenges related to economic progress and poverty alleviation; global warming and protecting the Earth’s life-support systems, human rights, peace and security.

3. What’s the number one narrative about the UN so far that you feel has been mischaracterized by the media?

The media has underestimated the effectiveness of the UN. In an interdependent age, the world has 200 board members with different backgrounds, perspectives and views on global plans and priorities. In this context, the UN does a remarkable job. UN peacekeepers are deployed in the world’s most dangerous places, and have been instrumental in post-conflict reconciliation and reconstruction in places like East Timor, the Balkans, Liberia and Sierra Leone. As the world’s 911 service, the UN leads humanitarian relief in places like Haiti and quietly cares for 20 million refugees around the world. And the UN is the platform through which nations work together to address common economic, environmental and social challenges — with concrete agreements in place to protect the environment, ensure equal rights for women and men, and enable the trade, travel and commerce we take for granted.

4. Who is the UN official that we should watch more closely?

Kandeh Yumkella, the Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the Chairman of UN Energy. Yumkella, from Sierra Leone, is one of the bright young international civil servants drawn into the UN and is typical of the remarkable talent there. A graduate of Cornell with a PhD from the University of Illinois, Yumkella taught at Michigan State before returning to his native country. Among his other responsibilities, he is tasked with coordinating and building the UN’s capacity for factoring energy access into all their policies.

5. What do you see as the top three challenges for the UN over the next three decades?

Strengthening the UN so that it has the systems, governance, personnel and resources needed to propel international cooperation on the new and emerging challenges of the 21st century, from climate change to terrorism;

Ongoing work to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and promote peace around the world;

Addressing persistent poverty and global demographic challenges that will alter the world’s economic, environmental and security priorities, rapid population growth in the world’s poorest countries, aging and associated dependency issues, urbanization and the issues of scarcity of food, water and energy. Climate change will exacerbate all of the challenges facing the UN, and must be both understood and factored into every programmatic and political calculation.

6. Why did you decide to go to work for the UN? What do you hope to accomplish?

I don’t work for the UN directly, of course, but I am delighted to help support and advocate for the UN as part of an independent organization.  I was honored when Ted Turner asked me to work with him and the board to create the UN Foundation. Having served as undersecretary of state for global affairs, I was and remain convinced that the great challenges of the future require broad-based international cooperation. It doesn’t matter whether coal is burned in Cleveland or Calcutta, we all get warm together. Global problems require global solutions and that is why the UN is more indispensable than ever before. But the challenges are great and this institution, like every institution, needs support from the outside. That is what we do at the UN Foundation and I think this is one of the most interesting and important jobs in the world.

7. Who was your mentor in the early stages of your career and how did they help you?

John Gardner, the former secretary of health, education and welfare, and leader of the non-profit sector was a great mentor to me. He encouraged everyone around him to aspire to excellence, to be true to enduring values and to work very, very hard. John impressed on me the importance of attention to detail, which makes all the difference. And he insisted that meetings be less than one hour.

8. What is your favorite country to visit for pleasure and what should we do when we go there?

Argentina – visit the Tango Parlors of Buenos Aires!

The imperative of green industry

The Economic Times [India]

February 5, 2010


Industry-led growth has been the engine of the global economy for over two centuries. All developed nations have harnessed industry as the main driver of their prosperity, and it is still the best hope for ending the dominance of poverty over the so called Bottom Billion of humankind.

But we need another kind of industry-led growth: Green Industrial Revolution. Rather than limiting growth, such a revolution can, and should, form the core of our response to climate change. The potential is there for new, clean methods of production; industries focusing on mitigation and adaptation services; and greater use of renewable energy.

But why green industry? Because, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), industry accounts for a third of global energy use and almost 40% of worldwide CO2 emissions. We should switch to clean and renewable energy to power our economies; improve the efficiency of our energy, material and water use; and practice conservation. Energy efficiency is the most cost-effective, least polluting and the most readily-available industrial energy savings option available in the industrial sector worldwide. Capturing these potential end-use energy-efficiency improvements rapidly is essential to keeping greenhouse gas emissions to safe levels.

There is also significant potential to reduce, at low or no cost, the amount of energy used to manufacture goods. In the IEA’s stabilisation scenario for greenhouse gas emissions, over a quarter of all energy-efficiency gains need to come from the industrial sector by 2050. Changing our present paradigm of development will not be easy. But many countries in Asia are already taking concrete steps to encourage and expand the use of clean energy and improve their resource efficiency. China has reduced the energy intensity of its economy by over 60% since 1980 and expects to reduce it further by 20% by 2010. It plans to double the proportion of energy it uses from renewable energy sources by 15% in 2020. China has also become the world’s leading renewable energy producer in terms of installed generating capacity and has now surpassed Japan as the world’s largest manufacturer of solar photovoltaic technology. It is also expected to become the world’s leading manufacturer of wind turbines this year.

India increased its renewable energy target to 14 GW renewables capacity by 2012. It has also emerged as a major producer of solar photovoltaics and wind turbines. Most importantly, India has adopted a National Action Plan for Climate Change whose aim is to protect the poor and the vulnerable through an inclusive and sustainable development strategy that is sensitive to climate change. And new policies are leading to $18 billion in new manufacturing investment.

Unido and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) are contributing to improving resource efficiency through cleaner production centres in China, India, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea, among others. Overall, there have been significant gains made by Asia in moving towards resource-efficient and low-carbon industries over the years. But more needs to be done especially since resource use in the region continues to increase in absolute terms with the region’s continuing economic growth.

Recognising the importance of sustained economic growth and sustainable development for the future of the globe, Unido organised a series of conferences on green industry and renewable energy in 2009, including in Austria, the Philippines and Mexico. The culmination was the recently-concluded 13th Session of the Unido general conference held in Vienna in December 2009 with the thematic focus of Green Industry.

Among the decisions and resolutions of the general conference was the one adopted by Unido’s 173 member states urging the organisation to continue to develop, within its mandated thematic priority of energy and environment, activities geared towards sustainable industrial development. This should be done through a 10-point strategy that includes, among others, recommendations such as continuation of assistance in the fields of renewable energy for productive uses, industrial energy efficiency, cleaner production, green industries and sustainable low-carbon emission industries including capacity-building to shift to more sustainable patterns of industrial output. It also includes the collection and dissemination of best industrial practices on the most suitable environmentally-sound technologies; and formulation and implementation of programmes, including facilitating transfer of adequate technologies that maximise the reuse and recycling of resources.

Clearly, there is a need for fundamental change in how we produce, consume and exchange goods. That is to say, how we ‘green’ our economies, our growth strategies, our transportation systems, our buildings and our homes. And in doing so, we will find ourselves building the industries of the 21st century: creating new jobs, maintaining the momentum of growth and protecting our planet.

(The author is director-general of Unido)

Turning the global crisis into an opportunity

Today’s unprecedented financial and economic crisis can be used as an opportunity to achieve a green energy revolution and put energy sector development on the right track.

Kandeh K. Yumkella, UNIDO Director-General and Chair of UN-Energy 24/06/2009 12:15

But for this to happen, we must make sure that the global fiscal stimulus packages, introduced by the major economies and totaling US$3 trillion, are used to support the priority investments required for such change.

Our volatile and rapidly changing world requires swift and determined action to address the urgent needs of today, as well as rigorous analysis to guide sensible decision-making for the future.

Some one billion people in the world still live in abject poverty and some two billion have no access to modern forms of energy services. Inadequate investment levels today and likely future energy price hikes mean that economic and human development may be compromised for a long period of time.

Energy access and the provision of energy services are directly linked to many, if not all, of the global challenges of the 21 st Century. Taking bold action today to make energy affordable, accessible, more efficient and sustainable will help address many of these challenges. This is especially crucial for the developing world and the continent I come from, Africa.

There are positive signs out there. As the latest REN21 Renewables Global Status Report points out, the world’s energy markets are going through a fundamental transition with many governments enacting new policies and setting ambitious targets. Innovation was boosted by a continuing flow of private equity investment and venture capital, at least prior to the credit crunch.

Responding to the financial meltdown, some governments have directed economic stimulus funding towards the new green jobs that the renewable energy sector can provide. The U.S. plans to invest $150 billion over ten years in renewable energy. President Obama’s goal for the United States to get 25 per cent of the nation’s power from renewable energy sources by 2025 is highly commendable and should serve as an example to others.

European countries, such as Austria, are moving forcefully ahead, getting over 20 per cent of overall primary energy consumption from renewable energy sources. Austria is also one of the leaders in renewable energy production and technologies, with a share of renewable energy in total energy production set to rise to 34 per cent by 2020. Most of its electrical energy is generated from hydro power, but wind power is booming as well.

In the developing world, China and India are playing a much more visible role in the field of renewable energy. China’s total wind power capacity doubled in 2008 for the fourth year running. It is also one of the few countries that have established an ambitious national goal to reduce energy intensity by 20 per cent.  New laws and policy provisions for renewables appeared in Brazil, Chile, Egypt, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, Syria, and Uganda.

To achieve a successful energy transition, we need a judicious mix of policies and investments in research and development. Proper policies will help eliminate market barriers, promote adequate power sector structures, and economically coherent pricing schemes could provide access to energy for all.

World leaders must reach a new global deal to shape the international and domestic policy environment to make it conducive for rapid technology deployment, by focusing on three areas:

  • energy access
  • energy efficiency
  • renewable energy

The Global Energy Assessment carried out by the International Institute for Applied System Analysis with the support from several governments, UNIDO, the World Bank, UNDP and UNEP, is a positive step. Preliminary findings will be presented to the United Nations COP15 meeting in December. The study will identify the achievable goals for renewable energy in the next 10-50 years in quantity and cost terms, offer policy changes for an effective and efficient transition to renewables, and suggest the way forward for the new International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Everyone understands that we need a major transformation of our economic systems to eradicate energy poverty, avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change, and provide the adequate energy services required for a sustainable world.

To ensure future prosperity, we need to learn how to get more with less, be energy and material efficient, and reach a high level of growth based on low-carbon economies. It would be incorrect to assume that countries would suddenly decide to walk away from traditional fossil fuels, like oil and gas. It will take time and a new, affordable generation of renewable energy sources and technologies for this to happen. In the meantime, clean and efficient production and use of all forms of energy is essential for energy security and economic growth (particularly in developing countries). In the interim period, the use of clean technologies such as clean coal will be critical.

The longer we wait to introduce the necessary changes, the higher the costs and the greater the green house gas emission reductions that will be required to address climate change. The longer we wait, the more we will have to confront the long turnover times that characterize the energy industry and, particularly, energy end use.

As bad as it is, the crisis can turn out to be the opportunity of our lifetime. To make this happen, we must invest and transform the unsustainable energy systems we have, turn the historical crisis of the “old” into an opportunity to sow the seeds for “new” sources of energy supply. But, most of all, we require the enlightened and strong leadership and vision to get us there.

Kandeh K. Yumkella is UNIDO Director-General and Chair of UN-Energy

Don’t shut the door on Africa

In this recession, a failure to help the ‘bottom billion’ would bring a larger crisis leading to famine, unrest and mass migration

Kandeh K Yumkella, Sunday 28 June 2009

Kandeh K Yumkella is director general of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). []

These days, a dollar won’t get you very far in a rich economy. But in a poor country like the one I come from, Sierra Leone, even half a dollar can save a life or feed an entire family. Every penny invested in Africa counts today and to secure Africa’s future.

Experts are unanimous: the financial, food and energy crisis will hammer the “bottom billion” – the poorest in some 60 countries that survive on about a dollar a day – the hardest. Because of the crisis, many African countries are likely to miss the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goal of poverty reduction.

The continent has made some significant socio-economic gains over the last decade. I’ve seen this for myself during recent travels to Benin, Ghana, Ethiopia, Egypt, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa. These gains include, to name a few: free-market reforms, liberalisation of economies, the steady introduction of pro-business environments, empowerment of women and education. But most of these gains are now seriously threatened.

The financial crisis has dealt a blow to remittances. Migrants are losing their jobs or struggling to set aside cash for their relatives back home. The World Bank’s latest global economic outlook suggests remittances will fall by 5% to 8% this year.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg of the tens of millions that can be tracked. Foreign companies are pulling back capital, drying import and export financing. Trade is declining. The unemployment rate, especially among disadvantaged groups – young people and women – is staggering. In Sierra Leone alone, more than 60% of the country’s youth are jobless.

A failure to help the “bottom billion” could fuel mass migration and global insecurity. Ignoring the poorest nations means postponing a much larger crisis which will lead to famine, unrest, and massive migration. Poverty is also an incubator for diseases, and the flow of legal and illegal migrants will carry them to rich nations.

Poverty is not just “their” problem. It is “our” problem too. If developing countries collapse, there will be millions knocking on our front doors, and the first port of call will be Europe. Such mass migration will severely hurt already strained social relations in some countries and lead to unpredictable consequences. Only a co-ordinated global response can guarantee that in the long run people from the poorest billion will visit Europe as tourists and business partners, not as asylum seekers.

Africa needs to do its share. It needs investments to shift away from a dependence on a donor-driven agenda and peasant-driven agriculture, and learn to compete on a global level. It can generate sustainable growth through industrialisation, and by creating a single market. It needs to promote production and trade, expand agribusiness and agro-industries, and create wealth and new jobs. Agribusiness development can stimulate broader economic growth and boost regional trade, while enhancing food security and reducing poverty.

Globalisation has been good to many in the developing world. At this critical moment, we can’t allow this to fade away. We need to make this a more inclusive process, and make sure that:

• Financial resources keep flowing to Africa and the developing world so they continue integrating into the global economy

• Protectionism is avoided and markets stay open

• The poorest nations can grow out of poverty through trade

• There is good governance of natural resources to fuel broader and inclusive development.

The abundance of relevant experiences from the newly industrialised countries in Asia and elsewhere can show African countries how to galvanise their economies, accelerating the process of wealth creation and poverty reduction on the continent.

And last but not least. Development without access to energy won’t happen. This crisis could help formulate a new approach: increase access to reliable, affordable and renewable energy services for sustainable development and promote energy efficiency to make sure economic growth does not raise energy demand and environmental degradation, including climate change.

Africa has great hydropower potential but only 7% has been exploited so far. Africa’s natural gas reserves amount to about 8% of global reserves. It has 10% of global oil reserves. But it requires major investments to develop both traditional energy means and renewable ones.

It is still unclear exactly how much of the $1tn pledged at the London G20 summit will find its way to Africa. That’s why we need to keep an eye on the figures and keep reminding world leaders of the needs of those in the developing world that live in their shadow. This will set policy priorities straight, put strategies in place to avert a human catastrophe and help Africa secure its rightful place at the global economic table.

Kandeh K Yumkella is director general of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). []

ECONOMY:  Africa Should Seize Control of its Development??

By Annelise Sander

GENEVA, May 29 (IPS) – Colonisation can be blamed for Africa s underdevelopment but today Africans must take their fate in their own hands and become ambitious. The continent badly needs industrialisation but it has fallen back into the trap of merely exporting commodities because of booming prices.

These are the innovative statements made by some of the regions highest decision-makers at the first African Forum for Dialogue, organised by the African Union in Geneva under the heading Africa ?s Development: Whose Responsibility on May 27.

I am angry because Africa is in such a bad way, said a passionate Kandeh Yumkellah, the director general of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). We are paying the price for other peoples mistakes, like climate change and the financial crisis, but whose responsibility is it?

Ours! We are educated. We can blame colonialism for the past 350 years but, for the next 50, we are responsible.

It was a sentiment also shared by Jean Ping, chairperson of the African Union Commission. But it doesnt mean that we don?t need the rest of the world. We live in a globalised world and need to open up, he added.

Speaker after speaker stressed that Africa needed to become more self reliant. But they also called for the strengthening of development cooperation. It is not a contradiction. It is all about development cooperation that takes into account the choices of the countries concerned.

Yumkellah cited the following model: In Asia , the mantra is competitiveness, and then you create the roads and the port facilities you need. In Africa we talk everyday about crisis and poverty and our minds become small. Lets be ambitious! Deng Xiao Ping said: I want China to be the powerhouse of the world in thirty years. And today it is.

With the increase in commodity prices, Jean Ping remarked that trade terms are favourable to Africa for the first time in a century.

But Yumkellah warned: Suddenly we are addicted to commodity trade again. But where is the value added? How do you create jobs if you don?t have the manufacturing base? Manufacturing must take place in Africa – otherwise we will not cope with the huge forecasted growth in population.

Africa is perceived as irrelevant in globalisation because its contribution to manufacturing is less than three percent. And 70 percent of global trade takes place in this sector.

For the dynamic Sierra Leonean, Africans want to talk about transformation and not only about the wars in Darfur and the Congo . But they (the North) dont want to,he says.

The Gulf of Guinea is one of the richest regions in the world but it has the poorest countries. Fishers are coming in from outside and over-fishing the waters. Let?s pray that young men and women will not become the next pirates.

Development assistance today is not about aid, but how you make Africa competitive to create jobs, otherwise our children will leave for the North.

He expressed regret that the continent was again missing an opportunity: The third industrial revolution is green. We financed the first one with the slave trade. Let us not let the new industrial revolution pass us by, he added, pointing to the lack of interest and debate over green technologies and jobs on the continent.

Green Energy for All by 2030?

Stephen Leahy

VIENNA, Jun 26 (IPS) – While industrialised countries struggle to switch from climate-damaging, carbon-based energy to greener energy sources, much of the world is desperately energy poor, with 1.6 billion people having no access to electricity and 2.4 billion relying on wood and dung for heat and cooking.

“Over 1.6 million deaths a year are attributed to indoor use of biomass for cooking and heating,” Kandeh Yumkella, director-general of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), told more than 600 participants from 80 countries at the Vienna Energy Conference this week in Austria’s capital city.

The conference concluded with a recommendation to create a 20-year plan to end energy poverty by 2030.

Women and children in many parts of the world have little choice but to spend hours each day in search of firewood, trapped in a vicious cycle of deforestation that increases erosion and reduces the fertility of their land. “Energy interacts with all of the development challenges we face,” said Yumkella.

The developing world – and especially those without access to electricity – must be part of the new green energy revolution, he said. “We can’t leave people out. We must have climate justice and energy justice,” he told IPS in an interview.

While energy is a major topic in the run-up to the final round of climate negotiations this December in Copenhagen, access to energy is not on the agenda. Energy is essential to economic development, making it the key to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), he said.

“A country’s quality of life is directly proportional to the amount of energy and the efficiency with which it is used,” said Albert Binger, director of the Centre for Environment and Development at the University of the West Indies and an advisor to the Alliance of Small Island States.

“That is the best definition I’ve seen regarding the importance of access to energy,” Binger said.

Small island states have contributed the least, less than 0.05 percent of total global carbon emissions, and yet will be the most affected. “We don’t want to be refugees,” he told conference participants. “Educate your populations about the dangers we face,”

Oil and natural gas production is declining in many non-OPEC nations, leaving the bulk of oil and other fossil fuel production in the hands of a few countries and increasing the likelihood of future price volatility, said Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Climate concerns aside, that’s very bad news for many developing countries dependent on fossil fuel imports. If oil stays at 100 dollars a barrel for any length of time, some countries simply couldn’t afford the price and their economies could collapse.

Business as usual ? increasing reliance on fossil fuels – will result in stark climate, food and energy crises, leading to failed states, Pachauri told IPS.

“Renewables (green energy sources) can buffer you from that. We need a major revolution in the energy sector,” he said.

But who will finance that revolution when many developing countries are living hand to mouth?

Small island states in the Caribbean and Pacific are locked in short-term survival mode, dependant on imported fossil fuels that is keeping them poor, said Susan McDade of the U.N. Development Programme. The oil tanker comes in one day and the next it leaves with much of a country’s money, making it impossible to invest in longer term projects McDade told attendees.

“These states have plenty of sun and wind resources but can’t make the green investments they need,” she said.

There have been plenty of green energy pilot projects but no support to help them get over the ‘energy revolution hump’. “Why not a balance of payments support programme to help them buy the oil they need, freeing up their capital to make the green energy investments?” she suggested.

One-third of the world lacks access to modern energy, which is a major burden on the poor and on the environment, said Irene Freudenschuss-Reichl, director general of the Austrian Development Corporation.

The Vienna Energy Conference shows that there is a need for energy development goals to supplement the Millennium Development Goals. And the first of those energy development goals is to develop a 20-year plan to bring access to energy for all by the year 2030, said Freudenschuss-Reichl.

There is plenty of money in the rich countries of the world to pay for all this, suggested UNIDO’s Yumkella. “The North needs to see and understand that doing so is matter of enlightened self-interest,” he stressed.

Trillions of dollars were found to prop up the world’s banks because there was the perception of a “clear and present danger”. If there is agreement that climate change represents the same risk then the funds will be mobilised, he said.

BBC News Interview: Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella

Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella, UNIDO, Director-General in an interview with the BBC News. The Andrew Marr Show

UNIDO chief wants “green revolution”

4 June 2009

APA News Service

Vienna – UNIDO Director-General, Kandeh K. Yumkella, said on Thursday the financial and economic turmoil may lead to a new green industrial revolution, but cautioned that developing countries must not lose out.

“We must make sure that the crisis is used to launch a new green industrial revolution. But it has to be a truly global one. Developing countries and poor communities, already the most afflicted by climate change, cannot afford to lose out”, said Yumkella according to a UNIDO press statement.

“They will need continued support to make their industries cleaner, to enhance their technological know-how, and to build policy toward new green industries and renewable forms of energy for productive purposes.”

The Director-General made his comments to mark World Environment Day, established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972, and observed on 5 June. This year’s theme is “Your planet needs you! UNite to combat climate change”.

“I’m certain – a new industrial revolution is just around the corner, and this time it will be green. Industry, long regarded as the main source of emissions that cause climate change, should be in the driving seat, moving the world towards a sustainable future.

The UNIDO chief called for cleaner production and renewable energy, as well as resource and energy-efficient technologies

Yumkella said that action was needed “at individual level to reduce, reuse and recycle; at corporate level to invest in energy-efficient and low-carbon production, and at governmental level to ‘seal the deal’ ” at the UN summit on climate change in Copenhagen in December.

UNIDO will focus on these issues in a range of major international conferences, including one on energy in Vienna from June 22 to 24, and on Green Industry in Asia, to be held in Manila from 9 to 11 September.

Letter to all Permanent Missions and Permanent Observer Missions to the United Nations regarding an Interactive Thematic Dialogue of United Nations General Assembly on ” Energy Efficiency, Energy Conservation and New and Renewable Sources of Energy” to be held on 18 June 2009. Also included is a brief description of the format of the thematic dialogue. (1 May)

Ban launches UN advisory group on energy and climate change

17 June 2009 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today launched a new group consisting of business leaders and experts who will advise him on energy and climate change challenges, particularly in identifying key issues in the run-up to the major United Nations conference to be held in Copenhagen in December.

The high-level Energy and Climate Change Advisory Group held its first meeting today at UN Headquarters under the chairmanship of Kandeh K. Yumkella, Director-General of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and head of the inter-agency mechanism known as UN-Energy.

The Group will help the UN prepare for Copenhagen, especially regarding the role that energy plays in climate change, and monitor implementation of what is decided at the conference, Mr. Yumkella told a news conference in New York.

Countries will meet in December to ‘seal the deal’ on a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions targets. The first phase of the 1997 Protocol expires at the end of 2012.

He said that he had seen reports that energy efficiency alone could reduce global polluting emissions 30 to 40 per cent, “but it is not happening.”

The Group will consider ways to comprehensively address climate change and boost energy efficiency and clean production, with a focus on developing countries.

Mr. Yumkella said it is important to focus on developing countries because they not only required help in tackling climate change, but also needed access to energy options. Many parts of the developing world still burned charcoal, wood and other biomass, which led to ecological damage and is a primary cause of pulmonary diseases.

Among those invited to participate in the group are top executives from companies such as Tata (India), Suntech Holdings (China), Edison International (United States), the New Energy and Technology Development Organization (Japan), and ESKOM Holdings (South Africa), as well as political figures, including former Costa Rican President Jose Figueres, and UN officials.

Welcome to UN-Energy

UN-Energy, the interagency mechanism on energy, has addressed the importance of access to energy in achieving the Millennium Development Goals in its recent report entitled The Energy Challenge for Achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The report draws on the collective expertise of the entire United Nations system, including the World Bank, and argues that the lack of modern fuels and electricity in most developing countries entrenches poverty, constrains the delivery of social services, limits opportunities for women, and erodes environmental sustainability. Currently 1.6 billion people lack access to electricity and 2.4 billion people lack access to modern fuels for cooking and heating.

About UN-Energy

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Because of our mixed feelings in three articles about the “UN Energy for Development Event” that was billed also as Energy and Climate Change, we received backing for Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella, UNIDO, Director-General, and as we concur that his leadership is the best the UN offers on the the 3F (food, fuel, financial crisis) – specially in regard to Africa – and we recognize the UN Foundation work – we post those interesting inputs in full.



To our credit – I would like to point out that we have already introduced our readers to Dr. Yumkella in:

He said there:

“Kandeh Yumkella, UNIDO Director General, noted that although similar energy issues were present 30 years ago, new ones have emerged, and that the “energy divide” and the inability to attract investment has resulted in economic marginalization of more than two billion people and prevented this region from benefiting from globalization. He cautioned that foreign investment in Africa’s energy resources has not resulted in local development. He noted that renewables can provide access to energy prior to the extension of a national grid, and recognized the region’s progress in this field, highlighting Mercosur cooperation. He said that humanitarian assistance is insufficient, and that true development requires job creation.”

NOW – THOSE ARE WORDS OF WISDOM –renewables can provide access to energy prior to the extension of a national grid” that is the kind of stuff “energy and climate change should talk about rather then the extractive industry represented by Statoil and Vattenfall on the Ban Ki-moon panel. Simply said – the panel was not even about Energy for a Sustainable Future as the title of the UNIDO report has it.

I tried to speak to Dr. Yumkella and contacted by e-mail Mr. Mikhail Evstafyev, UNIDO press officer who sent me a copy of the summary, and Mr. Dan Shepard from the UN DPI who never got back to me following e-mails and phone message. I would rather want someday to interview Dr. Yumkella as I feel he has much more to contribute to the subject then the people here in New York.


The UNFCCC official “press headlines” is a daily compilation providing a general overview of international media coverage of climate change-related issues, that does not purport to be exhaustive. The information contained in the compilation is taken as is from sources external to the UNFCCC secretariat, that are freely available on the Internet. No evaluation on the part of the UNFCCC secretariat has been done in terms of the information that they contain. The UNFCCC secretariat makes no warranty, either express or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability or content of such information.
updated: 29 April 2010 09:13

The above is the disclaimer, but then see what they published on the meeting – these are clearly just good party-line coverage that does not do justice to the subject they deal with. THAT WAS IT! The Inner City Press coverage or our articles, are never part of this. So how can the world know if all what they read is the UNFCCC News?

UN report pushes for energy access and efficiency to fight poverty and climate change
Increasing access to clean energy and improving its efficiency will be vital to both enhancing global prosperity and combating climate change, according to a report issued Wednesday by an advisory group of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the nexus between energy and climate.
World needs clean energy revolution: UN chief
Rich and poor nations need a “clean energy revolution” in order to cut greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global warming, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said here Wednesday.


Posted on on October 19th, 2007
by Pincas Jawetz (

OCTOBER 19, 2007, A report by the International Action Network on Small Arms, Saferworld, and Oxfam International, states that Armed Conflict Costs Africa $18 Billion Each Year.
Between 1990 and 2005, 23 African nations have been involved in armed conflict. The list includes Algeria, Angola, Burundi, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan and Uganda.
During the past 15 years, almost $300 billion has been squandered on armed conflict in Africa, capital that could have been used to lift the continent out of extreme poverty and to prevent continued disease epidemics, a new study revealed.

The estimated $18 billion per year “is a massive waste of resources—roughly equivalent to total international aid to Africa from major donors during the same period. It is also roughly equivalent to the additional funds estimated to be necessary to address the problems of HIV and AIDS in Africa, or to address Africa’s needs in education, clean water and sanitation,” the report stated.

In effect, 38% of the world’s armed confrontations take place on African soil.

In addition, the report highlighted that “the average annual loss of 15 percent of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) represents an enormous economic burden—this is one and a half times average African spending on health and education combined.” “This is money Africa can ill afford to lose,” Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf stated in the introduction of the report.

“The sums are appalling; the price that Africa is paying could cover the cost of solving the HIV and AIDS crisis in Africa, or provide education, water and prevention and treatment for TB and malaria. Literally thousands of hospitals, schools, and roads could have been built, positively affecting millions of people. Not only do the people of Africa suffer the physical horrors of violence, armed conflict undermines their efforts to escape poverty.”

President Johnson-Sirleaf understands the huge loss it represents for the continent, including her own country. Since 1991, Liberia has been one of the African nations that has been the target of armed combat and widespread civil strife. Although conditions for peace in the country were established in 2003 after President Charles Taylor left office, Liberia continues to experience political and economic perils, including the challenge of accommodating thousands of Liberian refugees who have returned to their homeland since the war ended.

However, it is not only robbed human lives and financial resources stolen in conflict that continue to cause the most damage to the continent, but the intangible daily mental and physical effects felt by the people themselves—and in some cases, other nations around them not directly involved in the conflict itself.

According to the report, African countries involved in conflict have, on average, “50 per cent more infant deaths, 15 percent more undernourished people, life expectancy reduced by five years, 20 percent more adult illiteracy, 2.5 times fewer doctors per patient, and 12.4 per cent less food per person.”

In the report, experts conclude that the majority of the problem lies in poor regulation of arms movement across borders—approximately “95 per cent of Africa’s most commonly used conflict weapons come from outside the continent.” These include the Kalashnikov assault rifle, more commonly known as the AK-47.

Also of primary concern is the tendency for regionalized conflicts to be magnified into international ones. According to the report, the situation in Darfur has already “drawn in neighboring Chad and the Central African Republic,” and other clashes in the area have caused similar situations.

Additionally, the economies of countries in armed skirmishes become intertwined. “In 2002, when fighting in Cote d’Ivoire made access to the key Ivorian seaport of Abidjan virtually impossible, foreign trade was disrupted in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger,” the report stated. And in Somaliland and Mozambique, “informal economies that provided a basic means of survival in wartime have been partly responsible for the collapse of formal rural market networks and have been an obstacle to post-conflict resolution,” the report said.


Source: MCT