SADC must reposition itself in order to industrialise

Thursday, August 3, 2017

For industrialisation to succeed, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region must reposition itself into regional and global value-chains and overcome the challenge of transitioning from commodity driven economies.

President of the Regional Standardisation Organisation, Dr Eve Gadzikwa, said the region needs time to implement the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap 2015–2063 and reposition SADC in the global value-chain.

Dr Gadzikwa was speaking at the third day of the SADC Industrialisation Week that is taking place in Sunninghill, Johannesburg,

“The central challenge that is facing the region is transitioning from commodity driven economies to added-value and knowledge-based intensive economies. We need to develop the industrial base, and partner with the private sector in developing the industry,” she said.

She further added that one critical factor to focus on while industrialising is that of integrating small, medium and micro-sized enterprises into industrial development.

“In doing so, these would address the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality in the region,” Dr Gadzikwa said.

She further emphasised that the need for coordinated efforts to industrialise was now urgent and was no longer business as usual.

The region needs to partner up and take advantage of the partnership with the private sector, which has the capacity to add value into industrialisation.

“There is an advantage when partnering with the private sector as they fill critical gaps in industrial development and in the manufacturing of quality products. Public-private partnerships are crucial for driving collective efforts to achieve sustainable development goals,” said Dr Gadzikwa.

She said industrial parks cans boost industrialisation in the region. The president of the Regional Standardisation Organisation cited Ethiopia as one country that has successfully implemented the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) programme and urged other countries to follow suite as a potential driver of industrialisation.

SADC’s Industrialisation Week started on Monday and will conclude on Friday. The programme of the week includes site visits to companies in the agro-processing, mining and pharmaceutical sectors.

SADC comprises 15 member countries including South Africa, Angola and Tanzania, among others.

The theme of the week-long conference is “Partnering with the Private Sector in Developing Industry and Regional Value Chains”. - SAnews.gov.za

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