The role of the Private Sector in wealth creation, employment generation and therefore poverty alleviation is firmly accepted by all SADC Member States. The Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan further elaborates on the importance of this critical stakeholder group through the specification of a range of outputs related to Private Sector involvement in decision-making within SADC:
- Development of policy guidelines on Public-Private sector Partnerships;
- Initiation of an institutionalised public-private dialogue;
- Incorporation of Private Sector representatives in SADC National Committees;
- Establishment of a Private Sector engagement unit in the SADC Secretariat;
- Inception of regional competitiveness and business climate surveys in the SADC region;
- Development of SADC a biannual business forum;
- Facilitation of a regional Private Sector organisation.
Private Sector Achievements
To date, a number of achievements have been made with respect to the integration of the Private Sector into SADC decision-making forums. While SADC does not currently have a specific policy instrument to guide and support the development of public-private sector partnerships several of the SADC Secretariat Directorates, with support from various committees, have established consultative mechanisms with the private sector on various topics, including infrastructure development, food security, customs and mining.
Furthermore, the SADC Secretariat has established a number of Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) with various regional business organisations, including the Association of SADC Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCCI) and the SADC Business Forum.
These initiatives have been further supported by the creation of a practitioner network on Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs), with input from the SADC Development Finance Resource Centre (DFRC). SADC also leveraged the global awareness presented by the 2010 FIFA World Cup, held in South Africa, to focus attention on sustainable investment opportunities and cooperation in the Southern African region.