The Executive Secretary (ES) of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Her Excellency Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax has called on the Private Sector and financial institutions to take advantage and invest in the identified regional value chains.
Addressing a meeting of the SADC Council of Ministers in Windhoek, Namibia during the 38th SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government, H.E. Dr Tax said, during the 2017/18 financial year and in line with the 37th SADC Theme "Partnering with the Private Sector in developing Industry and Regional Value Chains", progress was recorded in developing value chains in agro-processing, mineral beneficiation, and pharmaceuticals sub-sectors; as well as, in developing a mechanism for the involvement of the private sector in the SADC integration agenda.
H.E. Dr Tax said, building on the value chains that were profiled in 2016/17, in 2017/18 financial year, the Secretariat focused on developing value chain projects in these priority areas, and in profiling of the agro-processing.
The Executive Secretary encouraged the Private Sector to use the SADC private sector engagement mechanism platform to forge smart partnerships with the public sector. H.E. Dr Tax informed the Council of Ministers that SADC has reached an agreement with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to support the development of SADC economic corridors aimed at supporting Infrastructure projects to facilitate implementation of the Regional Value Chains.
At the Extra-ordinary SADC Summit held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe in August 2014, Heads of State and Government made a decision that the region will have to frontload Industrialization for technological and economic transformation and the year 2017/18 marked the third year of implementation of the Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2015-2020, which puts Industrialization at the centre stage.