Treasury Permanent Secretary Doto James made the appeal yesterday when opening a two-day virtual conference of SADC central bank governors and permanent secretaries at the Julius Nyerere International Conference Centre (JNICC) in Dar es Salaam.
Tackling the two challenges is essential as some SADC countries risk international sanctions over failure to meet conditions provided by the Financial Action Task Force, an inter-governmental organization based on Paris, set up in 1989 to fight money laundering and financing terrorism.
The challenges may affect the community’s ongoing endeavors to attract investments, but despite the challenges, SADC countries have maintained good financial policies and institutional systems to ensure it achieves its targeted development goals as per the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan of SADC (RISDP), he said.
The RISDP was launched in a 2003 Vision for attaining a SADC Free Trade Area by 2008, SADC Customs Union by 2010, SADC Common Market by 2015, SADC Monetary Union by 2016 and regional currency by 2018.
“Most of the countries recorded enormous economic successes in recent years, but some continued to struggle with a number of sectoral economic challenges such as increased budget deficit and lately, negative impacts caused by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19),” he said.
Delegates will come up with policy suggestions on a number of financial matters and investment issues, he said, stipulating that they will develop a working agenda on the social and economic impact of Covid-19. This agenda will be presented to the Peer Review Panel of SADC Ministers for Finance and Investment set for Wednesday July 15th.
“To tackle the challenges, countries must use institutional systems to come up with alternative ways to strengthen our economies. Platforms like this are important since they provide technical suggestions to SADC Ministers for Finance and Investment and central bank governors,” he stated.
Other agenda of the conference include discussing and providing suggestions on deliberations made by the SADC ministers at their July 2019 meeting in Windhoek, he said.
Implementation of the SADC Regional Development Fund and reports on execution of the SADC project preparation development facility will also be raised. The ministers shall receive and discuss a report on the Regional Transmission Infrastructure Financing Facility (RTIFF) financed by the World Bank.
The SADC ministers’ conference was earlier scheduled for June 13 to 17 but it was postponed due to uncertainty at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
SADC is made up of 16 member states of the Comoros, Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Seychelles, Eswatini, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.