SADC adopts development plan

The SADC Ministerial Taskforce on Regional Economic Integration has adopted the industrialisation and value addition roadmap to make the region competitive.

The taskforce adopted a strategy envisioned to ramp up the pace of industrialisation in the region.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Mrs Abigail Shoniwa said the adoption of the roadmap is a positive step towards capacitating smaller nations in the bloc.

This follows a meeting of the SADC Standing Committee of Officials held in Harare ahead of the Special SADC Summit on Industrialisation and Value-addition slated for April this year.

The summit also seeks to come up with a strategy for the trading bloc that is faced with stiff competition from imports emanating outside SADC.

During today’s meeting, the SADC Secretary General, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax said since the last SADC summit held in Victoria Falls, tremendous progress has been made towards the implementation of projects identified to move the region towards industrialisation.

Inga Dam electricity project is one such plan which if implemented could provide electricity to the region and the rest of the continent.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Joey Bimha expressed concern at the low level of contributions by member states towards the SADC budget.

He revealed that while member states contribute only 40 percent to the budget, the rest is provided by co-operating partners, thereby making it difficult to own their programmes.

“Equally important is the need for member states to search for innovative ways of funding priority regional programmes, especially the sensitive sphere of Organ on Politics, Defence and Security. In this regard, the urgent operationalisation of the SADC Resource Mobilisation Strategy and the SADC Regional Development Fund will be important milestones on the road to sustainability of our organisation,” said Bimha.

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