SADC adopts regional industrialisation strategy

The SADC Council of Ministers has adopted the regional industrialisation strategy and roadmap that is expected to unlock the economic potential of the bloc.

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The roadmap will be submitted to SADC Heads of State and Government at the extra-ordinary meeting of the SADC Summit on Industrialisation and Value Addition slated for the end of April this year.

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The SADC Council of Ministers were given the mandate to come up with this strategy by the 34th Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government meeting held in Zimbabwe last year.

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Briefing the media at the close of the meeting, SADC Council of Ministers Executive Chairman Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, who is also Foreign Affairs Minister, said the just ended meeting has adopted a strategy that is expected to quicken the pace of industrialisation in the region and will also be aligned to the continental agenda 2063.

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SADC member states have remitted their annual contributions to the SADC Secretariat for the 2014 to 2015 fiscal year and SADC Executive Secretary Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax said the council of ministers meeting has approved the 2015 budget.

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“During this sitting, council has approved the 2015/16 SADC budget of US$79 398 million for the implementation of the SADC operational plans,” said Dr Lawrence Tax.

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The SADC Council of Ministers meeting also noted that climate change is posing serious challenges to SADC’s social and economic development, hence the need for member countries to mobilise funds for humanitarian assistance.

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SADC also agreed to rally behind Mr Thomas Zondo Sakala, a Zimbabwean, who is vying for the post of president of the African Development Bank.

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SADC policy organs have been tasked to meet before June this year to prepare for the launch of the continental free trade area, while the issue of over-reliance on donor funding also came under the spotlight.