SADC Finance Ministers agree to deepen regional integration

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Ministers of Finance have agreed that regional integration within the finance and investment sector should be deepened.

The Ministers met under the chairmanship of the South African Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene on Wednesday.

“With an expanding regional integration agenda, Ministers are spearheading a process to deliver, in the medium term, additional financial resources for the region through the SADC Resource Mobilization Framework.

“In addition, having adopted the Financial Inclusion Strategy in 2016, Ministers are now focusing on ensuring its implementation,” the Ministers said in a joint statement.

The meeting in Ekurhuleni further emphasised the need to develop the financial sector by, among other things, centralising the bond markets in SADC.

The Ministers were joined by Central Bank Governors for the Peer Review of Macro-Economic Convergence of the Region. The objective of the convergence is to promote economic stability to ultimately contribute to growth and job creation.

The meeting heard how the SADC Project Preparation and Development Facility has performed well since its operationalisation in 2014, and the meeting reaffirmed its commitment to financial regional integration.

The meeting welcomed the progress made with the implementation of the SADC Integrated Regional Electronic Settlement System (SIRESS). This platform facilitates the clearance of transactions amongst SADC member states instead of using a corresponding bank.

The Ministers also emphasised the importance of harmonising tax regimes in the region to facilitate economic growth.

The meeting heard how SADC member states must work tirelessly to maintain macroeconomic stability and implement the structural reforms that will raise growth and lift people out of poverty.

South Africa is the current chair of SADC from August 2017 until August 2018.

The theme for the country’s chairpersonship of SADC is “Partnering with the Private Sector in Developing Industry and Regional Value Chains’.

A series of meetings between Ministers in various portfolios take place in between Heads of Government Summits.

The meeting of the Committee of Ministers of Finance and Investment is but one of the meetings that take place when a country has the chairmanship of SADC.

The SADC Member States are Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. -