THE Council of Ministers in the SADC region is sitting in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, to implement a regional roadmap for industrialization as the means of strengthening the economies in the region.
Speaking during the official opening of the two-day meeting, chairperson for Council of Ministers, Dr Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, said the ministers were tasked to consider and recommend the SADC industrialization strategy and roadmap for approval by the extraordinary summit of SADC heads of state and government tomorrow. Dr Mumbengegwi said the Council of Ministers were meeting to finalise their programme, saying the draft of the industrialization and trade roadmap should be undertaken at national level.
“Last month, the Council met to review the progress report of the ministerial taskforce on regional integration on the development of the draft strategy and roadmap for industrialization as mandated by the 34th SADC summit that was held in August last year,” Dr Mumbengegwi said.
Dr Mumbengegwi explained that the draft recognized that industrial policy formulation and implementation would largely be undertaken at the national level and that its success would depend on forging effective partnerships between the individual governments and the private sector.
He said the plan also sought to engender major economic and technological transformation at national and regional levels, aimed at accelerating growth and enhancing comparative and competitive advantages of the economies.
And SADC executive secretary Stergomena Tax said he was confident that once the regional industrialization strategy and roadmap were approved by the summit, it would set the region’s path to industrialization and the socio-economic prosperity of citizens.
She said the strategy was anchored on three pillars that included industrialization as the champion of economic and technological transformation, among others. Dr Tax said the strategy was premised on the fact that the regional integration was an important vehicle to accelerate industrialization which he said was a catalyst for economic infrastructure advancement.
She said SADC would continue to be guided by its founding vision to create a community with common values, future and destiny underpinned by decent jobs and high standards of living of its citizens. Zambia was represented by Foreign Minister Harry Kalaba, Commerce and Trade Minister Margaret Mwanakwatwe, Deputy Finance Minister Christopher Mvunga, Lusaka Province Minister Obvious Mwaliteta, Commerce and Trade permanent secretary Siakalenge Siazonga, Zambian High Commissioner to Zimbabwe Ndiyoyi Mutiti, and other Government officials. And President Edgar Lungu is today expected in Zimbabwe to join other SADC heads of State at the summit tomorrow.