The detailed three-year rolling operational plan is expected to start in 2019 until 2021, which will pave the way for the region to industrialise by 2030 through pillars contained in the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap Plan of 2015-2030.
These pillars are industrialisation, competitiveness, regional integration, cross-cutting issues, institutional arrangements, and monitoring and evaluation. The objective of the industrialisation is to deepen regional integration, build requisite knowledge-based capabilities, sink the necessary quality investments and create an enabling environment for public and private participation and inclusiveness.
Industrialisation is a prerequisite for the transformation of the regional economy in terms of its productivity, efficiency, diversification and competitiveness. Under the competitiveness pillar, the objective is to strengthen both the macroeconomic and microeconomic environments.
A healthy macroeconomic competitiveness setting helps optimise the microeconomic capability and sophistication of domestic production and service structures and enhance overall productivity. Funds for this pillar have been secured from the European Union. A review of the 2009 SADC industrial development policy framework document and the implementation status in five member states is expected to commence late in the 2018/19 financial year.
The objective of the much-talked-about regional integration is to widen the economic space for development and create incentives for industry to agglomerate. The SADC Secretariat is hoping that this pillar will provide opportunities for economies of scale, encourage clustering and promote economic interlinkages.
Under cross-cutting issues, the objective is to ensure and address the industrialisation-related enabling requirements that cut across economic and social sectors, notably participation of women, youth and persons with disabilities, financing and ownership, macroeconomic environment, environmental sustainability and communication.
The objective for institutional arrangements is to ensure that the support institutions for advancing the process and content of industrialisation are in place and strengthened, including centres of excellence/centres of specialisation that facilitate the generation of ideas, products and management processes.
Lastly, under monitoring and evaluation, the aim is to regularly monitor and report on the implementation of the plan both at national and regional levels.
The SADC Summit held in Namibia this year hailed the SADC Industrialisation Strategy Action Plan, most notably the commencement of work on the protocol on industry and the agro-procession profiling study. SADC Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax (pictured), reiterated that industrialisation was the overarching priority for the region following the adoption of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap (2015–2063) in August 2016.
“This is an inclusive long-term modernisation and economic transformation initiative aimed at raising the living standards, intensifying structural change, and engendering a rapid catch-up of the SADC countries with industrialised and developed countries,” she said.
She added that the adoption of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and its roadmap opened up numerous opportunities through the development of regional value chains and their integration into global value chains. The strategy has identified six priority value chain clusters namely: agro-processing, mineral beneficiation, pharmaceuticals, capital goods, consumer goods and services.