SADC Summit: Focus on regional industrialisation
Pretoria- The implementation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Regional Industrialisation Strategy will take centre stage when regional leaders meet in Botswana.
The industrialisation strategy is anchored on three pillars, namely, industrialisation, competitiveness and regional integration, and is premised on a three-phase long perspective covering 2015 -2063.
It is also aligned to the continental vision, Agenda 2063, a global strategy aimed at optimising the use of Africa’s resources for the benefit of all Africans.
Regional leaders will convene at Botswana’s capital Gaborone on Monday and Tuesday for their 35th SADC summit.
President Jacob Zuma will lead a South African delegation which will include Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, State Security Minister David Mahlobo, and Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas.
This year’s theme is "Accelerating Industrialisation of SADC Economies Through Transformation of Natural Endowment and Improved Human Capital.”
The leaders, according to the Presidency, will also review progress towards achieving the objectives outlined in the Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2015 – 2020.
Regional economic integration
The RISDP is the blueprint for the SADC programme of action on achieving regional economic development and will guide the implementation of SADC programmes over the next five years.
Its particular focus is on Industrial Development and Market Integration; Infrastructure in Support of regional integration; and peace and security cooperation, amongst other issues.
On matters of peace, stability and security in the region, the presidency said South Africa will give a report to the summit on matters relating to the work of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.
This is because South Africa will hand over chairpersonship of the organ after it was elected in August 2014 to chair this most important organ of the group which is charged with the maintenance of peace, stability and security.
In the past year, SADC has supported mediation, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, post-conflict reconstruction and development efforts in response to the political and security challenges in Lesotho, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Madagascar.
The SADC, established in 1980, is a regional economic community comprising 15 member states: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Their aim is to achieve development, peace and security, and economic growth, to alleviate poverty and enhance the standard and quality of life of the peoples of Southern Africa.