The Standing Committee of Senior Officials from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) begins its meetings today.
The meetings are being held at the OR Tambo Building of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) in Tshwane, South Africa.
The Standing Committee is a technical advisory committee to the SADC Council of Ministers, which meets twice a year.
It consists of one permanent or principal secretary, or an official of equivalent rank from each member states of SADC.
The council oversees the functioning and development of SADC and ensures that policies are properly implemented.
This is the first meeting in a series of proceedings leading to the 37th Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government scheduled to take place on 19 - 20 August.
A Ministerial Meeting is scheduled for 16 August, Double Troika on 18 August and the actual Summit on 19 - 20 August
South Africa, as incoming chair of the regional bloc, is hosting the summit under the theme 'Partnering with the private sector in developing industry and regional value chains'.
The summit will seek to address two key issues that can help move industrialisation programme in the region.
South Africa's strategic direction as chair of the summit will be aimed at institutionalising the relationship between governments and the regional private sector, as well as operationalising the SADC-adopted Industrialisation Policy and its costed Action Plan.
At the centre of SADC's industrialisation efforts, the regional strategy and roadmap sets out three potential growth paths, namely agro-processing; mineral beneficiation and downstream processing value chains.
The paths are mutually supporting and inclusive, encompassing the combination of downstream value addition and backward integration of the upstream provision of inputs, intermediate items and capital goods.