The 18th Meeting of the SADC Ministerial Task Force on Regional Economic Integration was held in Ezulwini, Swaziland on the 11 March, 2017. The meeting considered the Costed Action Plan and Proposed institutional arrangements for implementation of the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap. The meeting also reviewed the status of implementation of the Tripartite Free Trade Area Agreement and preparatory work on the commencement of the Continental Free Trade Area negotiations.
Honourable Martin Dlamini Minister for Finance of the Kingdom of Swaziland officially opened the meeting Opening Remarks by Hon. Martin Dlamini on behalf of the Prime Minster of the Kingdom of Swaziland, His Excellency Dr. Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini. Hon. Martin Dlamini underscored the importance of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap (2015-2063) in shaping the landscape of SADC and accelerating development of the Region. He added that the finalisation of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy Action Plan will help guide implementation of Regional Integration policies and strategies. On trade, the Minister explained that industrial Development was a cross-sectorial issue hence there was need for high levels of coordination and collaboration between all stakeholders.
In her opening remarks Remarks, the SADC Executive Secretary, Her Excellency Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax noted that the Action Plan recognises critical roles to be played by the private sector as a driver to industrialisation, and the importance of participation of women, the youth and persons with disability in industry development. She emphasized the need for effective coordination in support of industrialisation, sound governance mechanism for implementation of the Industrialisation Strategy, regular monitoring of the implementation of the Strategy and Roadmap.
The Ministerial Task Force endorsed the Industrialisation Strategy Action Plan for consideration by the Extraordinary Summit on the 18th March 2017. The Meeting further directed the Secretariat to collaborate with the Tripartite Task Force to expedite implementation of outstanding activities of the Tripartite Free Trade Area Agreement and report on the status of implementation of outstanding activities at its next meeting.