By Tiri Masawi
Windhoek – The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is striding forward with its Agenda 2050 by launching the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020-2030.
Agenda 2050 strives to build an integrated region that is economically developed and vibrant, with equal opportunities for all citizens. It dovetails with the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
SADC Chairperson, President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique this week said RISDP 2020-2030 was a result of extensive consultations with all stakeholders, and factored in achievements and challenges with a view to rededicating efforts towards peace and security for socio-economic transformation.
“As we move forward, the region will be premised on SADC Vision 2050, which is to have by 2050, a peaceful, inclusive, competitive, middle to high-income industrialised region, where all citizens enjoy sustainable economic well-being, justice, and freedom.
“Guided by this vision, the RISDP 2020–2030 is a coherent and comprehensive framework for the implementation of SADC’s regional integration agenda for the next 10 years. It lays out, in an incremental manner, concrete steps and milestones to be achieved in the journey towards Vision 2050. As a community, we have come a long way and achieved success on many fronts,” President Nyusi said.
He said the region had a plethora of protocols, policies and strategies designed to harmonise legislation and policies for the sake of collective, sustainable development.
“Our programmes continue to expand in scope and coverage, thus laying a solid foundation for deepened regional integration. As we look forward to the next decade and beyond, a success story for the SADC region will be one that leads us on an inclusive and sustainable growth path, with improved standard and quality of life of our people.
“RISDP 2020-2030 will contribute towards the realisation of this goal. We have to ensure that all resources are clearly directed to our priorities as articulated in RIDSP 2020-2030,” President Nyusi said.
The SADC Chairperson also called on the bloc’s co-operating partners and the private sector to align their support to RISDP priorities.
SADC Executive Chairperson Dr Stergomena Tax said RISDP 2020–2030 drew impetus from the organisation’s Vision 2050, which envisages “a peaceful, inclusive, competitive, middle- to high-income industrialised region, where all citizens enjoy sustainable economic well-being, justice, and freedom.
She also revealed that the strategic framework informing RISDP 2020–2030 includes a commitment to upholding the bloc’s core principles, including the sovereign equality of all member states, solidarity, peace, security, human rights, democracy, rule of law, equity, balance, mutual benefit, and peaceful settlement of disputes.
“The aspirations enunciated in SADC’s Vision and Mission 2050 are aligned to key global and continental frameworks, such as the United Nations’ (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063. In line with the SADC Treaty’s quest for wider and deeper regional economic integration and development, the organisation’s mission statement seeks to create a conducive environment to foster regional cooperation and integration, accelerate the mobilisation of resources from within the community and external sources,” she said.
Dr Tax said the region was targeting to improve implementation of SADC policies and programmes, strengthening compliance by member States through the implementation of effective compliance monitoring and assurance mechanisms, and magnifying visibility and awareness as a means to trigger the participation of citizens in driving the regional integration agenda.
“The main tenet of the Revised RISDP 2015–2020 was to promote regional value chains and increase value-addition in select priority sectors, including agro-processing, mineral beneficiation, and pharmaceuticals in the short to medium term. In the long term, the objective was to increase the region’s manufacturing capacity, competitiveness, and capacity to trade and hence achieve sustainable economic transformation,” she said.
The Industrial Development and Market Integration Pillar of the plan directs efforts towards sustainable use of natural resources.
“This will focus on industrial development focusing on the priority sectors of agro-processing, mineral beneficiation, and pharmaceuticals will be prioritised, alongside enhancing regional technological capability and capacity through science, technology and innovation.
“Related to this, focus will also be placed on transformation of the agricultural sector to promote sustainable management of the environment and natural resources, while ensuring productivity and improved market access for agro-products,” the document reads.
Attention will be placed on sustainable development of integrated green and blue economies for revenue generation and employment creation.
The RISDP will deepen efforts towards free movement of goods, services, and skills, with increased attention to strengthening co-operation and co-ordination among member states in the tourism sector.