INTERNATIONAL - Tanzanian Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Palamagamba Kabudi on Tuesday urged member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to fast-track the industrialization agenda.
"This region needs industrial development for us to transform our economies, to enhance economic growth, to create more jobs and reduce poverty," said Kabudi.
He was speaking at the handing over of the chairmanship of SADC Council of Ministers from Namibia to Tanzania ahead of the 39th Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government to be held in the business capital Dar es Salaam between Aug. 17 and Aug. 18.
Kabudi assumed the chair of the SADC Council of Ministers from Namibian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi Ndaitwah.
"The industrialization agenda in the SADC region could not be achieved if member states failed to create conducive environment for investment and business," said Kabudi.
"We need to engage dialogue with the private sector. We need to boost trade among SADC member states." he said. Kabudi thanked Namibia for overseeing SADC activities over the past one year, pledging to assume the regional bloc's responsibilities with great honor, humility and gratitude.
"We are aware of the responsibilities ahead of us and we are ready to fulfill them with your support and the support of the SADC Secretariat," said Kabudi.
Stergomena Tax, the SADC executive secretary, said the SADC region remained insistent with the implementation of the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap.
"While noting and celebrating the progress made, we need to redouble our efforts, so as to realize the desired results of the SADC industrialization agenda," Tax said.