SADC advances the industrialisation agenda
Southern Africa is considering a series of bold measures to advance the aspirations of member states as outlined in the Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap as the region moves to ensure that efforts to transform its economy gain traction.
SADC is developing a costed Action Plan for the Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap 2015-2063, which was adopted in April 2015 to allow the region to harness the full potential of its vast and diverse natural resources.
The Action Plan seeks to establish a coherent and synergistic implementation scheme containing strategic options and general policies towards the progressive attainment of time-bound targets set out in the strategy and roadmap.
Senior officials from SADC member states met in Gaborone, Botswana in May to discuss the Action Plan with private sector, regional think tanks and International Cooperating Partners.
The plan will focus on the first 15 years of the strategy timeframe, and aims to create an enabling environment for sustaining industrial development as a driver of economic transformation; and establish an enduring alliance for industrialisation consisting of the public and private sectors as well as strategic partners.
The SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap was developed as an inclusive long-term modernisation and economic transformation scheme that should enable substantial and sustained economic development to raise living standards.
It is anchored on three interdependent strategic pillars: industrialisation as a champion of economic transformation; enhanced competitiveness; and deeper regional integration.
A number of strategic interventions for each of these pillars are proposed in the Action Plan.
With regard to Industrialisation, major interventions proposed include an improved policy environment for industrial development, increased volume and efficiency of public and private sector investments in the SADC economy, creation of regional value chains and participation in related global processes, as well as increased value addition for agricultural and non-agricultural products and services.
In the area of an improved operating environment, there are plans to develop and operationalise a Protocol on Industry by 2020, which should lead to the development of industrialisation policies and strategies at national level.
Where member states already have such policies and strategies, these should be reviewed and aligned to the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap.
Member states will be required to develop national Industrial Upgrading and Modernization Programmes (IUMPs) by 2018 and implement these by 2020.
There is also a target to progressively increase the share of gross domestic investment to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 25 percent by 2020 and to 30 percent by 2025.
To achieve these targets, there are plans to develop a SADC Investment Promotion Framework as well as a SADC Regional Action Programme on Investment to accompany it.
To encourage the creation of regional value chains and participation in global processes, the region has identified five priority areas where the value chains can be established and for which regional strategies should be developed by 2020.
These are in the areas of agro-processing, minerals beneficiation, consumer goods, capital goods, and services
A detailed value chain study is proposed for specific products or services in the priority areas.
As part of the process of promoting value chain participation, there are plans to develop model legislation and regulations for intra-SADC agro-processing, minerals beneficiation and other manufacturing activities and services.