Joint SADC effort for industrialisation
Gauteng Premier David Makhura has called on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to work together to run modernised and industrialised economies.
Speaking at the Gala Dinner of last week’s Invest in Namibia Conference in Windhoek, Makhura said Africa can only advance its development ambitions if it mobilises its people and utilises its own resources in a sustainable and inclusive manner.
Makhura said the conference was a direct response to the African Union Agenda 2063 which calls upon all Africans to work hard to do away with the apparent disconnect between the presence of vast mineral resources, including agricultural imports, in African countries and the building of a vibrant manufacturing sector.
“We must also forge ahead with the agenda of integrating our economies and markets to build a strong regional industrial and manufacturing base that will serve to catalyse regional integration. We have no doubt that this conference will go a long way to ensure that we achieve these objectives,” said Makhura.
He said the work being done by African governments to promote and expand intra-Africa trade under the leadership of the African Union is necessary to grow their economies in a more sustainable and inclusive way.
The premier was referring to the work done by the African Union Commission and the NEPAD Agency on implementing Agenda 2063 and in the immediate the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement; an agreement between the Heads of State of 26 African countries to establish a free trade area to bring together three of Africa’s major regional economic communities – the Southern Africa Development Community, the East African Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.
“We urge African businesspeople and entrepreneurs to take advantage of these initiatives and ensure that entrepreneurs, SMMEs have access to economic opportunities beyond boarders. This includes integrating the informal sector and what we call the township economies into the mainstream of our national and regional economies,” said Makhura.
In addition, he emphasised the role of African cities and regional or provincial governments in Africa’s industrialisation efforts. He said the sub-national governments need to play a more serious role in giving economic leadership at a local and regional level.
Makhura said Gauteng was commitment to working with the Namibian government to strengthen regional and continental industrialisation and reindustrialisation efforts.
In this regard, Makhura announced that Gauteng and Erongo Region will be singing a Memorandum of Understanding early next year as part of strengthening the sub-national collaboration between cities and regions.