SADC summit approves Industrialization Strategy

WINDHOEK: The Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit last week approved the region’s Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap, and reaffirmed the importance of industrial development in poverty alleviation.

A communiqué issued by the SADC Secretariat on Monday said the summit also reaffirmed the importance of industrial development in the economic emancipation of the people of the region.

The Extra-ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Governments of the SADC was held in Harare, Zimbabwe on 29 April and considered the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap as decided by the 34th Ordinary Summit held in August 2014 in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

The SADC Industrialization Strategy is anchored on three pillars – industrialization, competitiveness and regional integration, and premised on a three-phase long perspective covering 2015 to 2063.

The strategy is aligned to Agenda 2063, a global strategy aimed at optimizing the use of Africa’s resources for the benefit of all Africans.

The summit underscored the critical importance of infrastructure in support of industrialization and the need to explore appropriate funding mechanisms to support the implementation of the Industrialization Strategy.

The communiqué noted that the summit also directed the Secretariat to finalize the development of a costed action plan to facilitate the urgent implementation of the Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap.

It further directed that the industrialization strategy be accorded top priority in the implementation of the Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) for 2015 to 2020.

The summit also approved the Revised RISDP (2015 – 2020) that will guide the implementation of SADC programs in the next five years, with the four areas of a high-priority being industrial development and market integration; infrastructure in support of regional integration; peace and security cooperation as a prerequisite for regional integration; and special programs of regional dimension.

The summit noted the state of preparedness for the launch of the negotiations for the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) and adopted a common SADC position on industrialization within the context of the CFTA negotiations.

The CFTA is set to build on the Tripartite FTA negotiations, which would create a free trade area among the 26 countries of the East African Community (EAC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the SADC.

The communiqué also indicated that President Jacob Zuma of the Republic of South Africa briefed the summit on the recent attacks against foreign citizens, including those from SADC Member States that occurred in parts of Durban and Johannesburg.

While condemning the attacks, the summit commended the measures that the Government of South Africa has put in place and resolved to work together to deal with the situation and ensure it does not recur.