SADC establishes industrial development and trade directorate

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Southern Times Writer

SADC has established the Directorate of Industrial Development and Trade at the SADC Secretariat to co-ordinate implementation of the regional bloc’s Industrialisation Strategy, Johansein Rutaihwa, senior programme officer, Industrialisation and Competitiveness, has said.

He was speaking to senior journalists drawn from across the continent at a media awareness workshop on Africa industrialisation frameworks hosted by the AU Commission’s Trade and Industry in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, last week.

Rutaihwa said the action plan for implementation of the Industrialisation Strategy had been rolled out in nine SADC member states, and assistance in determining the national indicative public coordination costs was provided to seven member states that had requested for such assistance.

He cited as SADC’s achievements the development of the Protocol on Industry which will provide the legal framework for co-operation on industrial development within and among the SADC member states and the finalisation of SME templates to enable SMEs contribute in industrial implementation

The region had also achieved capacity building programme to enhance policy design, formulation, implementation and monitoring and the drafting of blue economy strategy had started.  The blue economy refers to the development of the fishing industry. 

“Operationalisation of the SADC Pooled Procurement Strategy (SPPS) has begun by setting up the SADC Data Base on Essential medicines, and the Republic of Tanzania has been nominated to host the SADC Pharmaceutical Procurement Services (SPPS,” said Rutaihwa.

“An online M&E System has been developed to facilitate both compliance and results monitoring of protocols. The system was approved in March 2017 and is being rolled out to member states.”

The region had also established the SADC Business Council to provide the basis for public-private dialogue and for development of a Regional Public-Private Sector Engagement Strategy; the Draft Framework and Guidelines for the establishment of Centres of Excellence and Centres of Specialisation has been approved, and specific sectors and the SADC countries that can potentially participate in each value chain had been identified by member states.

“The central question, however, is not the focusing on the product or sector per se, but rather understanding the full value-chain and what is required to take advantage of opportunities to add value and migrate to new activities along the value chain,” he said.

SADC has developed the Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap 2015-2063 whose action plan was approved April 2015 and March 2017 respectively. An agreement was to act collectively, as a region, to implement effective strategies that boost the productive capacity of industries, develop infrastructure that leverages industrialisation and promotes technological advancement.

The goals of the Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap are to achieve a major socio-economic transformation at the national and regional levels; accelerate the growth momentum and enhance the comparative and competitive advantage; diversify and broaden the industrial base and interdependences; and enhance the productive capacity, productivity and competitiveness of SADC economies.

It also seeks to provide a framework for technological and industrial catch-up, export diversification, natural resources beneficiation, enhanced value-addition and increased regional trade and employment generation.

 

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