Africa needs cooperation to develop-SADC

LACK of cooperation among African countries  has contributed to failed development policies, says chairperson for Council of Ministers in the SADC region Dr Simbarashe Mumbengegwi.

Dr Mumbengegwi  said lack of cooperation was one of the chellenges his group  would try to address during its two-day meeting in Harare ahead of thesummit of heads of state and goverment meeting today

Adressing the media on Monday night, Dr Mumbengegwi said harmonisation among African countries was key to addressing challenges hindering development.

Dr Mumbengegwi said Africa was rich in natural resources but that the continent was not benefiting from them, adding that a draft strategy was being prepared to map the way forward.  He said the draft strategy would promote the exploitation of the region’s resources for the benefit of its people through value-addition and benedication.

“The idea is that the process should be done in the region so that our citizens can feel the benefit,”he said.

Dr Mumbengegwi said the bulk of the region’s products were exported in their raw form with little returns from them.

“All these things should be looked at and these plans we are putting in place can only be achieved if there is harmony and cooperation in the region,” he said.

He said the Council of Ministers draft strategy in the region would look at the whole question of agro processing and the growth of the manufacturing sector.

He said the council had recognised the pivotal role that the private sector would play in making the process a success, saying it was for that reason the region would develop immense public-private sector partnership.

Dr Mumbengegwi said SADC should address a number of pre-requisites like energy,infrastructure and human resources development to ensure success of the strategy.

“As a council we have recognised that for our citizens in the region to benefit economically, it is critical that we maximize on value addition on our natural resources and other related products,” he said.

The council reviewed the revised regional indicative strategic development plan within its framework for development.

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