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Southern Africa Trust - The Trust supports SADC Industrialisation Week

The Trust supports SADC Industrialisation Week

Southern Africa Trust SADC Industrialisation Week

Southern Africa Trust partnered with key stakeholders to foster new opportunities for intra-regional trade and investments during the SADC Industrialisation Week held in South Africa.

The second SADC Industrialisation Week took place from 31 July – 04 August 2017 in Sunninghill, Johannesburg, under the theme Partnering with the Private Sector in Developing Industry and Regional Value Chains.

During the week-long programme, representatives from the private and public sectors as well as civil society organisations attended sessions that focused on various factors affecting industrialisation in the SADC region, namely: Agro-processing, mining, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, policy, investment, regional energy value chains, entrepreneurship, trade and incentives in agriculture.

Southern Africa Trust - Ulrich Klins addressing delegates during SADC Industrialisation Week
Southern Africa Trust - Ulrich Klins addressing delegates during SADC Industrialisation Week

“Through our support, we aimed to include key stakeholders, such as the civil society organisations, the media and the public, in the discussion on industrialisation in the region,” said Southern Africa Trust Project Manager for Private Public Partnerships Ulrich Klins.

Klins also shared his optimism regarding the implementation of the plan. “SADC Industrialisation Week 2017 was a full success. We had stimulating sessions in which we discussed how value chains and jobs will look like in 15 years. If industrialisation is going to create employment, then it is important to engage on what kind of jobs we are talking about. And job profiles will change significantly, hence we need to jointly get prepared for this,” said Klins.

He said another highlight was the involvement of civil society organisations. “We need civil society to be involved because, in the end, industrialisation is implemented for the citizens in the region” he added.

Activities supported by the Southern Africa Trust included:

  • A media workshop on industrialisation in the southern African region that preceded the official program on 30 July. The media workshop was aimed at sharing the Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap with SADC media in detail.
  • Commissioning an expert in the Pharmaceutical sector, Celestine Kumire from Southern Africa Programme on Access to Medicines (SAPAM) to provide input during the Southern Africa Business Forum (SABF) Working Group on Pharmaceutics Value Chains which sought to review SADC frameworks on Pharmaceutics and consider future approaches to development the sector. The meeting preceded the launch of the 2015 – 2019 Pharmaceutical Business Plan during the Industrialisation week.
  • Coordinating a meeting between civil society organisations and the private sector in order to establish a joint position paper on industrialisation.

African Monitor Organizational Programme Officer: Programme Support and Partner Liaison Joseph Eliabson says the inclusion of civil society in discussions during SADC Industrialisation Week was a great opportunity for networking. “We hope that the deliberations and input from civil society will be taken into account as we strive to implement the industrialisation plan,” said Eliabson.

Eliabson said the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap were a good starting point for implementation: “Amidst clear progress, there is a reason for concern that we might miss this because grassroots communities, youth and women are still excluded from economic participation. As we industrialise we should remember those who have been left behind over years, and try to close the gap between rural and urban areas.”

The SADC Industrialization Week was hosted with the support of the NEPAD Business Foundation, the Southern Africa Business Forum (SABF), the Department of Trade and Industry South Africa (dti) and the Department of International Relations and Corporation (DIRCO) and was sponsored by the Barclays Africa Group and the European Union.

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