His Excellency Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania on 5th August, 2019 officially opened the 4th Annual SADC Industrialisation Week with a call for African countries to redouble their efforts to industrialize their economies.
His Excellency President Dr Magufuli underscored the need for SADC Member States to pursue industrialisation, saying it is a cornerstone for accelerated regional economic growth, enhanced competitiveness and job creation.
The President said, for the SADC region to industrialize and grow its economy, there is need to foster intra-regional trade; harness science and technology; maintain reliable energy and infrastructure; increased youth involvement in innovation; eliminate barriers to trade and enhance a conducive environment for participation and growth of the private sector.
In reflecting on the theme of the 2019 SADC Industrialisation Week, “A Conducive Environment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, increased intra-regional trade, and job creation”, the President noted a number of opportunities available for increased intra-regional trade and called on SADC Member States to trade among each other for sustainable economic growth of the region.
The President said the trade imbalance between Africa and other developed countries needs to change. “Africa produces what it does not consume and consumes what it does not produce,” the President noted.
In her remarks, the Executive Secretary of SADC, Her Excellency Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax expressed gratitude to His Excellency Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli for his commitment to the SADC industrialisation agenda demonstrated by accepting to grace the opening of the 4th annual SADC Industrialisation Week.
H.E. Dr. Tax commended efforts by the Government of the Republic of Tanzania, under the leadership of His Excellency Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, to increase supply of affordable energy through the 2,115 MW Rufiji Hydropower Project that will lower the cost of production and contribute to industrialization for Tanzania and the SADC Region through the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) interconnector.
The SADC Executive Secretary called on the delegates to utilise the trade opportunities created by the SADC Free Trade Area, which is an integrated market of the 16 countries with a combined population of 327million and a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of about US599billion as of 2016.
She hailed the historic launch of the SADC Business Council, which she said signifies the importance and value of the private sector in driving the SADC industrialisation agenda. On this note, H.E. Dr Tax cited the development of the value chains and infrastructure as some of the needs that require investments and capital from the private sector.
The opening ceremony was attended by high ranking government officials from the United Republic of Tanzania, including Hon Mr. Innocent Bashungwa, Minister for Industry and Trade, United Republic of Tanzania and Hon. Ambassador Amina Salum Ally, Minister for Trade and Industry, Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, members of the SADC Business Council, heads and representatives of the diplomatic corps, representatives of the private sector, international cooperating partners, civil society organisations, academia and the media.
A total of about 3000 participants, including 1576 exhibitors are participating in this year’s annual SADC Industrialisation Week.