The SADC Executive Secretary Her Excellency Dr Stergomena Tax attended the third African Leadership Forum that took place at the Hyatt Kilimanjaro Hotel in Dar-es-Salaam, the United Republic of Tanzania from 28th to 29th July 2016. The Forum is an initiative of former President of the United Republic of Tanzania H.E. Benjamin William Mkapa and coordinated by the Institute of African Leadership for Sustainable Development (UONGOZI institute).
The main objective of the Forum was to identify key solutions to obstacles that are preventing African businesses from flourishing. Building on the success of the inaugural dialogue in 2014 and the second dialogue in 2015, the African Leadership Forum 2016 was convened under the theme “Enabling African Business to transform the continent”.
In his opening remarks His Excellency Benjamin William Mkapa former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, noted that Africa is endowed with resources such as land and people, however these resources have to be utilised more effectively to enable transformation. He highlighted that Africa’s Agenda 2063 provides the necessary impetus for the region’s transformation, however it has to be implemented by Africans, catalysed by good leadership. The Forum was also attended by H.E. Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia, H.E. Joaquim Chissano and H.E. Armando Guebuza of Mozambique and H.E. Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and more than 100 key influential leaders across the continent, and leaders from business, government, civil society and academia.
The two-day forum began with a keynote address introducing the theme of the Forum. Following the keynote address, the discussions of the Forum were led by three sessions namely; making African Business Inclusive; enhancing business through Regional Integration; and the impact of trade agreements on business and private sector development. These sessions were led by panel discussions with former Heads of States and Leaders of delegations being discussants.
Her Excellency Dr Tax participated as a discussant on the panel discussion focusing on Enhancing Business through Regional Integration. In her intervention, Dr, Tax noted that a number of good policies, strategies and programmes exist within the African continent, including in Regional Economic Communities. However, implementation of these instruments has been slow. She highlighted that economic and technological transformation is possible, if
Africa operationalize these strategies and put what is on paper into action. “Moving from concepts, strategies, and resolutions to actions and implementation”.
The Leadership Forum comes at the most opportune time when the SADC Region has front-loaded Industrialisation as its priority agenda covering 2015-2063. The outcomes of the forum are expected to provide the much needed impetus as the Region rolls out its industrialisation agenda to bring out the desired socio-economic and technological transformation.