The Southern African Development Community (SADC) says industrialisation remains a key priority for the bloc despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr Stergomena Tax, the SADC Executive Secretary, said the region has recorded some milestones on industrialisation though progress remains slow.
“The share of the manufacturing sector to overall GDP is still low, around 12 percent,” said Dr Tax when addressing the SADC’s virtual Council of Ministers meeting on March 12.
She said the region should speed up the implementation of the profiled value chains in priority areas, while the private sector is encouraged to take advantage of value chains that will benefit investors, SADC citizens, and the region.
Dr Tax further emphasised the need to operationalise the SADC Regional Development Fund as regional projects require adequate and sustainable funding and need to accelerate initiatives to enhance capacities and capabilities of SMEs.
Meanwhile, Dr Tax has also called for the need to expeditiously finalise the SADC Digital Economy Strategy.
“With the advent of the 4th industrial revolution, and lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic, digitization of our economies is not a matter of choice, but a necessity,” said the official. – Xinhua