My government attach great importance to SADC regional integration efforts and in particular to all efforts towards creating a strong economic block through the promotion of industrialisation.
This was said by the Prime Minister of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) His Excellency Mr. Jean- Michel Sama Lukonde Kyenge, when officially opening the 6th SADC Industralisation Week (SIW) held in Kinshasa, DRC on the 2nd August, 2022.
He applauded the SADC Founding Fathers for the strong foundation laid down both at political and socio-economic level for the integration of the region and urged delegates to be resilient and to remain steadfast in the implementation of the resolutions that will emerge from the week-long event.
The Prime Minister urged all stakeholders to continue the legacy through working hard towards structural transformation of the region’s economies through implementation of various programs contained in the SADC industrialisation Strategy.
The SADC Deputy Executive Secretary for Corporate Affairs, Ambassador Joseph Nourrice underlined that the SIW facilitates establishment of partnerships among stakeholders to enhance cooperation and collaboration in the implementation of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap (2015-2063), both at the national and regional levels. He said the event also provides a platform for regional companies, youth and women to showcase their innovations towards industrialisation.
He added that the region must produce value added goods through structural transformation and industrialisation through appropriate technical skills which include science and innovation. He said such technical skills should be able to promote rapid and efficient productivity in the agriculture and mining sectors as well as appropriate financing of industrial operations which include facilitative infrastructure.
Incoming SADC Business Council Chairman Mr. Albert Yuma Mulimbi said their interests as a regional business council are anchored on the three main pillars of trade facilitation specifically resolving Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs), regional infrastructure solutions and supporting the development of Regional Value Chains.
He said with the support from The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) Cooperation for the Enhancement of SADC Regional Economic Integration (CESARE) programme, the SADC Business Council works closely with Member States, national business associations, sectoral business associations and SADC Secretariat to identify and assist to resolve Non-Tariff Barriers and improve NTB resolution mechanism in the region.
Mr. Mulimbi shared that the SADC Business Council is also engaged in awareness raising and capacity building for the private sector and its associations to address NTBs in order to exchange, share and collect information and to facilitate intra-regional trade during and post COVID-19 period.
The SADC Industralisation Week aims to foster new opportunities for intra-African trade, developing cross border value chains, especially in Mineral beneficiation, Agro-processing, Pharmaceuticals sectors and identifying investment opportunities in Southern Africa.
The SADC industrialisation Week format features keynote addresses from high profile speakers on a wide range of themes and topics; break-away sessions of key topical concern; exhibitions; matchmaking for Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) and factory tours. The event's recommendations and outputs are included in the SIW declaration statement and presented to the SADC Council of Ministers. This body determines policy discussions for Heads of State and Government for action.