Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe says the Southern African Development Community (SADC) remains a strategic regional body in Africa and beyond because of its massive endowment of natural resources and improved human capital that it possess.
Mrs. Mwanakatwe explains that it is in this regard that the regional economic grouping will need to double up its efforts in exploiting its rich natural resources for purposes of creating employment for the ordinary citizenry.
ZANIS reports from Botswana that the Commerce Minister told journalists at the ongoing SADC Council of Ministers which has been running from 14th August and is expected to end today 15th August, 2015 ahead of the 35th Ordinary SADC Heads of State and Government, which starts on 17 August, 2015.
“Here is a regional economic grouping which is well endowed with natural resources; well-endowed with human capital. And so how do we ensure that that endowment; that human capital is translated into job creation,’’ explained Mrs. Mwanakatwe.
The Commerce Minister observed that as a result of the challenges that come with industrialisation, the SADC region will need to position itself towards the enhancement of its various programmes in infrastructure, investment, among others, if it is to realise the set targets in economic development.
Mrs. Mwanakatwe also observed that removing non tariffs on certain goods remains a challenge for the region that is making headways in propelling its economic integration.
“Transformation is coming because the region is in a hurry to industrialise itself which will require that countries must begin within themselves. Transformation within Zambia and within my ministry remains pivotal in ensuring massive investments.
Transformation must happen if we are going to grow GDP to inspire the region,” she elaborated.
She said the ordinary Zambian is waiting to see that development is delivered through the use of effective and efficient systems rather than the usual way of doing business.
Mrs. Mwanakatwe also pointed out that although SADC member states are at varying levels of economic growth, it is important that member states address the issue of how to accelerate development at the same time.
The 35th Ordinary SADC Heads of State and Government summit which begins on 17 August, 2015 is dubbed “Accelerating Industrialisation of SADC Economies through Transformation of natural endowment and improved human capital.”
In April, 2014, the SADC Heads of State and Government approved the Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap at their Extraordinary Summit held in Zimbabwe to promote industrialisation in the region, which represents a huge step towards economic liberation.
It is also expected that the SADC member states will ensure to harness the region’s vast and diverse natural resources.