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SADC Industrialists in Hre for strategy
24/02/2015 00:00:00
by APA

TRADE and industry experts from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are meeting in Harare to discuss the strategy and roadmap for on-going efforts to industrialise the 15-member bloc.

The meeting, which kicked off on Tuesday and ends on Wednesday, is discussing a draft strategy and roadmap developed by the Botswana-based SADC Secretariat in consultation with member states.

It comes in the wake of a decision by the 2014 Summit of SADC leaders held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, which directed the Secretariat and member states to prioritise the industrialisation pillar during the ongoing review of the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP).

The RISDP is SADC’s 15-year development blueprint that was adopted by member states in 2003 in Mauritius.

The experts meeting will be followed by those of the Ministerial Task Force on SADC Regional Economic Integration the Council of Ministers next week, also in Harare.

Industrial development has been identified as one of the main drivers of the integration agenda in southern Africa as the region moves away from an economic path built on consumption and commodity exports onto a sustainable developmental path based on value-addition and beneficiation.

The structure of production in southern African countries is characteristic of a developing region where large shares of Gross Domestic Product originate from primary production sectors, mainly agriculture and mining.

According to the SADC Industrial Development Policy Framework, the contribution of these sectors to GDP is relatively high, averaging close to 50 percent of GDP. Fishing has equally grown to be important in a number of countries.

The manufacturing sector’s contribution to GDP in all SADC member states is estimated at less than 20 percent, and lower than five percent in some cases.

With the exception of South Africa and Mauritius, which have sizable manufacturing sectors, the SADC industrial sector remains relatively undiversified.


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