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Southern Africa to accelerate implementation of regional industrialization strategies & policies

27 November, 2021
Southern Africa to accelerate implementation of regional industrialization strategies & policies

Livingstone, Zambia, 27 November 2021 – Experts from Southern Africa convened in Livingstone to deliberate on accelerating the implementation of regional industrialization strategies and policies in Southern Africa through domestication.

ECA Sub-Region Office for Southern Africa (SRO-SA) convened 30 experts from regional stakeholders including representatives of government ministries and parastatals, the private sector, academia and Civil Society Organisations to review the study entitled, ‘’Accelerating the Implementation of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Industrial Policies and Strategies through domestication”. The workshop discussed the principal elements to facilitate domestication and implementation of regional industrial policy directions and industrialization frameworks at the national level.

The Chair of 27th Intergovernmental Committee of Senior Officials and Experts of Southern Africa, Mr. Hetherwick Njati, Principal Secretary (Administration), Ministry of Finance (Malawi) officially opened the two-day workshop. He emphasized the importance of industrialisation as a vehicle for promoting economic growth, production of higher value goods, increased exports and export earnings, improvement in resource efficiency and creation of linkage opportunities with other sectors and of sustainable employment opportunities. He also highlighted that the Ad Hoc Expert Group Meeting provided an opportunity for renewed reflection on the strategic design and implementation of regional and national industrial policies in building sustainable and inclusive economies. “Successful industrialisation needs to be anchored on harmonisation of industrial policies across member States. Indeed, the domestication of the aspirations of the regional frameworks in member States and their implementation premised on inclusive participation of both the public and private sector as well as of Micro Small Medium Enterprises will facilitate regional growth through value chains”.

In her welcoming remarks, SRO-SA Director, Ms. Eunice Kamwendo advised that the development of regional policies and strategies is testament to the resolve to push the industrialization agenda forward aggressively across the two Regional Economic Communities (RECs). The COMESA and SADC industrialization strategies inform member States’ strategies and policies. She advised that industrialization is anchored on harmonization of industrial policies across regional member States and this is key in facilitating regional value chains. The Director noted that, “as ECA, we believe in the importance of policy harmonization in facilitating regional industrial development and especially anchoring value chains development”.

COMESA, Senior Private Sector Development Officer, Esther Mwimba speaking on behalf of Director, Industry and Agriculture, Providence Mavubi informed the meeting that COMESA Industrial Policy focuses on nine key priority areas:  agro-processing, energy, textile and garments, leather and leather products, mineral beneficiation, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and agro-Chemicals, light engineering, and the blue economy. She underlined that the first decade of COMESA’s existence focused heavily on market integration, however, “despite several trade facilitation instruments to grow trade in the region, they have not brought significant increases in the share of intra-regional trade. Thus, COMESA applauded the workshop and hoped to have a clear roadmap, “on how the region can bolster efforts to drive the industrialisation agenda by developing a harmonised framework for the domestication of the policy frameworks by member States in the region”.

The high-level expert meeting concluded with three group discussions guided by Prof. Manenga Ndulo, Prof. Gift Mugano and Ms. Myranda Lutempo. The groups deliberated on the report and reviewed the proposed template that is meant to guide member States in domestication and implementation of regional industrial policies. It was agreed that to accelerate regional industrialization, issues of green economies, gender, capacity building, energy availability and financial incentives must be tackled. Finally, proposals were made calling for stronger collaboration among all stakeholders including; RECs, government ministries, private sector, Civil Society Organizations and cooperating partners in supporting policy domestication and implementation.


Issued by:
The Sub-Regional Office for Southern Africa
UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
P.O. Box 30647, Lusaka, Zambia.


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