Tanzania Association of Non-Governmental Organizations’ Programme Manager, Zaa Twalangeti said under a Regional Indicative Strategic Development on Plan (RISDP), progress in establishing industries has been given a thrust by many SADC members including Tanzania.
Twalangeti said the RISDP was partially aimed to see how the region is performing in its efforts to end poverty which is the key concern of the region with an estimated 40 per cent of the SADC population living in abject poverty.
“The RISDP was also aimed at allaying manifestation of poverty as being through poor social indicators, including low productivity of labour and land, malnutrition, illiteracy, unemployment, underemployment and declining life expectancy,” Twalangeti said.
He noted that evaluation of the RISDP which covers the period 2015-2020, has established that industrial development has been placed at the core of the integration agenda. “Industrialization of SADC has been acknowledged as central to diversifying the region’s economies,” the TANGO Programme Manager said in a statement.
Among other things, the SADC blue-print for industrialization is the bloc’s industrialization strategy and roadmap which is also backed by an Action Plan. “However an assessment of the performance of the plan which has been done by Daima Associate of Tanzania as commissioned by the SADC Secretariat show that the plan which is supposed to be implemented by member state does not indicate tangible projects that are directly implementing the strategy,” Twalangeti noted.
He added that SADC member states are still largely implementing their own industrialization policies which have not deliberately domesticated the regional industrial strategy. “The performance assessment also shows that the implementation of the strategy has not yet realized significant impact in the region and this can be evidenced by the sector’s sluggishly growth of 1.2 percent in 2017 compared to 2.7 percent in 2016 and its transformation in terms of diversification and growth of value chains has at best been modest,” he added.
The assessment also shows that profiling of regional value chains in the priority sectors of agro-processing, mineral beneficiation and pharmaceuticals was completed and what remains is for member states to domesticate the strategy and value chains and implement the strategy, Twalangeti noted.
On market integration, the TANGO Manager said it is making progress but intra-regional trade remains dismal with fair progress being made with regard to the implementation of the SADC free trade area by member states.
“Among the key milestones was the consolidation of the SADC free trade area in the first three years of a revised RISDP and the region has fairly manage to phase down tariffs but despite the implementation of the SADC FTA is being implemented, the goods market in the region remains small,” he argued while pointing out that the assessment has also shown that there are many supply side constraints, inadequate trade related infrastructure and other trade policy instruments such as non-tariff barriers and restrictive rules of origin.