14 March 2019

Southern Africa: SADC Ministers' Council Summit to Address Industrialisation

THE Southern African Development Community's council of ministers summit which kicked off on Monday this week will address industrialisation, as it is one of the region's key priorities.

The seven-day summit is themed 'Promoting infrastructure development and youth empowerment for sustainable development'. International relations ministry executive director Selma Ashipala-Musavyi said through industrialisation, the region will be able to achieve sustained economic growth and sustainable development, and that industrialisation has proven to be an effective platform to create youth employment and bring about prosperity.

"This noble objective of youth empowerment can only be achieved if member states formulate deliberate policies to address youth unemployment, job creation and training in related economic sectors," she noted.

The summit will also look at the budget of the secretariat to ensure that programmes and projects that are budgeted for are implemented accordingly.

"It is, therefore, important to reiterate that effective implementation will bring us closer to achieving our agenda of regional integration, which would in turn lead us to the Africa we want as per the African Union Agenda 2063," Ashipala-Musavyi added.

There have been improvements in some areas, while in other areas, implementation has been extremely slow. The summit will thus endeavour to strengthen mechanisms that would ensure the effective execution of summit decisions.

Meanwhile, speaking at an earlier SADC meeting for ministers and social partners last week, deputy labour and industrial relations minister Tommy Nambahu said SADC's role should always be guided by its principle of regional integration, and that the region and Africa as a whole need to achieve socio-economic growth and development balanced on the African Union Agenda 2063. He said this should be in close collaboration with genuine technical partners.

The governments, with their employers and employees, should also consider the African continental free trade area agreement for the common good of Africa, Nambahu noted.

He said: "In a globalising world, it has been noticed that the powerful nations are still dominating and leading the international agenda with their self-entrenched national interest unabated, which at times is prejudicial to Africa and its resources."

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