Windhoek - The SADC Secretariat has admitted that the implementation of its industrialisation strategy has been slow.
SADC’s Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap of 2015 – 2063 was developed as an inclusive long-term modernisation and economic transformation scheme that enables substantive and sustained raising of living standards, intensifying structural change and engendering a rapid catch up of the SADC countries with industrialising and developed countries.
Providing an update on the strategy during the SADC Council of Ministers meeting last week, SADC Executive Secretary Dr Stergomena Tax said industrialisation remained a key priority for the region but implementation was slow.
“While the region has recorded some milestones, progress remains slow. In recognition of the slow progress, and as directed by the 39th Summit, the Secretariat is finalising an assessment on the status of industrialisation and SADC intra-regional trade. The study is expected to assess progress made and emerging issues, so as to enable the region to take the needed measures and realise its industrialisation aspirations,” she said.
The Assessment Report will be presented to the Ministerial Task Force on Regional Integration, and subsequently to the Council of Ministers and Summit in August 2020.
The financial year 2019/2020 marks the fifth and last year of the implementation of the Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2015-2020.
In this regard, Dr Tax said work on developing the SADC Vision 2050 and blueprints to succeed the RISDP was ongoing.
These strategic documents are earmarked to guide the regional direction post-2020.
Last week’s SADC Council of Ministers’ meeting considered a report on progress in the formulation of the SADC Vision 2050 and the RISDP (2020-2030).
“I am confident that member states will attach the needed importance to this critical exercise and provide the needed inputs, as we proceed with the formulation. Notwithstanding the challenges posed by COVID-19 to the consultative process, the Secretariat remains committed to ensuring that the process of developing these blueprints remains on the right path towards achieving ‘The SADC We Want’,” said Dr Tax.