Southern Africa: Economic Integration Key to SADC Industrialisation

President Cyril Ramaphosa has highlighted the importance of regional economic integration as envisaged by the SADC Industrialisation Strategy.

The President made this point at the conclusion of the 39th Ordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government.

President Ramaphosa led the South African delegation comprising the Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor; Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane and Finance, Tito Mboweni.

The summit was held from 17 - 18 August at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre in the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam.

The summit took place under the theme: 'A Conducive Business Environment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development'.

The theme was in line with previous SADC Summit decisions that endorsed industrialisation as the overarching priority for the region based on the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap (2015-2063).

The summit provided an opportunity for Heads of State and Government to be briefed on the overall implementation of the SADC work programme, including the Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (2015-2020) and the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap.

Heads of government were also updated on the status of the region's economy, health and food security and provided policy direction about future strategic work of SADC and the SADC post 2020 Agenda.

During the SADC Troika Summit of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, President Ramaphosa presented a final report on the Lesotho facilitation process to the SADC Heads of State. The President is the SADC facilitator to the Kingdom of Lesotho.

"Presenting his report, the President noted with great appreciation progress made towards the implementation of the reforms required for transformation in the mountain kingdom.

"He commended the passing of enabling legislation for the establishment of the National Reforms Authority, which is entrusted with implementing the decisions of the National Dialogue and the reform processes," said Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko.

President Ramaphosa was supported by retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke.

The President further expressed gratitude to international partners for their support and assistance provided to him, notably the European Union Delegation Office to Lesotho, the United Nations Development Programme in Maseru and Tanzania retired Justice Frederick Werema, the chairperson of the SADC Oversight Committee on Lesotho.

President Ramaphosa congratulated President Magufuli on assuming the chairmanship of SADC.

"Under his leadership, our regional organisation and our region will continue to prosper under [Magufuli's] esteemed and capable leadership," said the President.

The President has also congratulated President Magufuli on Kiswahili being adopted as the 4th official language of communication of SADC in addition to English, French and Portuguese.

The next SADC Summit will take place in Maputo, Mozambique, in August 2020.

Meanwhile, President Ramaphosa congratulated Sasha Maria Schwendenwein, a producer at the TV show Carte Blanche, for her SADC Media Awards entry, which won second prize in the TV category.

South Africa received an award during the SADC Summit on a story called "Follow the Guns", which depicts the illegal trade of weapons used for the poaching of endangered rhinos.

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