Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE will from Wednesday this week host 11 Southern African Development Community member countries in economic progress review discussions revolving on value addition, beneficiation and industrialisation.

The intergovernmental committee of experts meeting for SADC will be held in Victoria Falls.

ICE for SADC is a United Nations General Assembly policy sub-organ of the Economic Commission for Africa conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development set up to provide a forum for engaging member states’ senior policy makers on policy and programme matters in the sub-regions.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa will join other regional ministers of finance and economic planning and development, high-level officials from member states covered by office and representatives of SADC and COMESA secreta- riats.

Representatives from other United Nations agencies, African Union Commission, African Development Bank, civil society organisations, Development Bank of Southern Africa, academia, civil society and professional organisations will also grace the event.

Themes of most recent ICE sessions for Southern Africa illustrate the importance the region attaches to further transformation of natural resources as a route towards socio-economic development and transformation, UNECA-SA said in its concept note.

The 20th edition of the ICE for SADC in Victoria Falls will be held under the theme “Accelerating Industrialisation in Southern Africa through Beneficiation and Value Addition’”, which are common features of Zimbabwe’s industrialisation policy (2012-2016) and the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation 2014 /18.

The vision of Zimbabwe’s Industrial Development Policy (2012-2016) is to transform the country from a producer of primary goods into a producer of processed value-added goods while value addition and beneficiation is one of the four main pillars of Zim- Asset.

As a region, Southern African seeks to promote industrialisation through the exploitation of its abundant natural resources for economic transformation and development.

The regional focus on industrialisation is in line with the continental decision at the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (46th session of the Economic Commission for Africa), held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, on March 25-26 2013, which among others called on African states to adopt and implement coherent industrial policies to increase value addition in local production and deepen linkages between the commodity sector and other economic sectors.

African states were urged to create institutional industrial policy mechanisms to develop country-specific, industrial policy roadmaps for value addition and beneficiation of their natural resources in close collaboration with all relevant stakeholders.

Value addition in agricultural products and beneficiation of natural resources, including minerals are an integral part of sub-regional and national industrial policy strategies. UNECA said local value addition and beneficiation enabled economies to exploit the strong growth linkages and multiplier effects, which evolve from such strategies.