The founding years – Raising the voice for industrial development

In these early years, UNIDO profiles itself as the United Nations entity supporting structural transformation: the green revolution (agriculture) and economic self-sufficiency through industrialization. The work programme concentrates on launching industries in those countries where there were none to speak of and supporting fledgling ones in others. The Organization supports the establishment of agro-related as well as basic industries, including metallurgy, construction materials, chemicals, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals and pulp and paper, but also light, small-scale and export-oriented sectors.


UNIDO established

17 November, UN General Assembly Resolution 2152 (XXI) establishes UNIDO.


Ibrahim Helmi Abdel-Rahman

Ibrahim Helmi Abdel-Rahman (Egypt) becomes first Executive Director.


Identifying challenges

Industrial Surveys and Studies programme focuses on problem areas in industrial development.


Supporting light industry

A Light Industries Section established to provide technical assistance for textiles and garment-making, leather-tanning, woodworking, food-processing, ceramics, brick-making, and other sectors.


Assisting African countries

Encouraging economic and technical cooperation among developing countries.


Protecting the environment

Joint programme with UNEP helps preserve the environment without slowing down the rate of industrial development.


Abd-El Rahman Khane

New Executive Director, Abd-El Rahman Khane (Algeria) takes up office.


The First Lima Declaration
First Conference of African Ministers of Industry

Second General Conference adopts Lima Declaration, Plan of Action on Industrial Development and Cooperation.

First biennial forum for African leaders and other stakeholders to review progress with Africa’s industrialization.