Communication key to SADC industralisation success

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Acting Director of Industrial Development and Trade at the SADC Secretariat, Lomkhosi Mkhonta-Gama, says effective communication is crucial if the objectives of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy are to be achieved.

“The leaders of SADC [Southern African Development Community] have repeatedly emphasised that industrialisation will lift the majority of the population of the SADC region out of poverty by creating the much needed jobs, especially for its young people. For this to become a reality, effective communication is of paramount importance.

“SADC must be made visible for all the good and successful initiatives that we drive. In this way, we will fully realise our development aim of eradicating poverty in the region, with our own citizens being prime drivers of regional integration,” said Mkhonta-Gama on Sunday.

The regional body held a media workshop in Johannesburg on Sunday to improve media awareness of the SADC Industralisation Strategy.

Mkhonta-Gama said SADC’s aspirations and achievements must be disseminated through the media so the region is portrayed as the preferred cooperation partner of choice the world over.

The workshop was an opportunity to unpack the Industralisation Strategy to journalists who will be covering the second SADC Industrialisation Week, which will take place at The Focus Rooms in Sunninghill, Johannesburg, from Monday.

The theme of the week is ‘Partnering with the Private Sector in Developing Industry and Regional Value Chains’.

Mkhonta-Gama said the media has a big role to play in communicating the work of SADC and how it adds value to the lives of ordinary citizens.

“We cannot do this successfully without the contribution of the media. As we inform the people of the region, we are openly affording them the opportunity to contribute to the regional agenda to enable them to also participate and contribute to the formation of what concerns them. This is our noble cause and … we need your partnership,” said Mkhonta-Gama.

Road to 2023

The SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap 2015-2023 was developed as an inclusive, long-term modernisation scheme that will result in major economic and technological transformation of the region.

It has a long-term perspective and is aligned to national, regional, continental and international dimensions.

The strategy is anchored on three pillars. These are industrialisation, which is seen as the tool for economic and technological transformation; competitiveness, which will move the region beyond comparative advantage to competitive advantage; and regional integration and geography, the context for accelerated industrial development and economic prosperity.

At the centre of SADC’s industrialisation efforts, the strategy and roadmap sets out three potential growth paths, namely agro-processing, mineral beneficiation and downstream processing value chains. –

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