Picture: Noni Mokati/Independent Media

Johannesburg - Industrialisation is set to take centre stage at this week's 37th Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Summit in Pretoria. 

On Monday, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana Mashabane outlined the agenda set to be tabled during the gathering by 15 heads states within the region.  

This year, South Africa is expected to take over from Swaziland as the chair of the SADC region.

Nkoana-Mashabane explained that the Council of Ministers will receive progress on actions undertaken by the Secretariat in implementing the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap 2015-2063.

"Council will also receive and review the proposed Milestones for Monitoring Implementation of the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap for approval by Summit....the report on the outcomes of the Ministerial Retreat on “the SADC we want”, which was held in Ezulwini, Swaziland, in March 2017 and the progress on the development of the Implementation Plan and Roadmap," she said.

The Council will also receive reports on the findings of the exercise on profiling of the mineral and pharmaceutical sectors and identification of potential areas for the development of value chains.

On Thursday, King Mswati III is expected to deliver the SADC message for 2017. Nkoana-Mashabane said this would be done to mark the anniversary of the regional organisation since it was established in 1992.

Meanwhile, noting the achievements in the region during the launch of the second edition of the Success Stories booklet, SADC executive secretary Stergomena Lawrence Tax said while the region has often revealed stories of diseases, conflict, hunger and poverty it has equally made progress in moving towards reporting on positvie news.

"We are gathered here to unveil more successful stories through the story publication and send a clear message that we have positive stories to tell. As you read these stories, you will realise that our citizens are on a path to prosperity," she said. She added the importance of these stories could not be over emphasised as they help motivate SADC member states and the secretariat scale up impactful and life changing interventions where necessary.

German ambassador to Botswana and SADC observer Ralf Audreas Breth said this year Germany and the European Union intended to firmly focus their attention on Africa particularly the African Union and its regional organisations.

"As a founding member of the EU, Germany itself has experienced that regional integration is the engine for economic growth and development," he said.
He further pointed out that in supporting SADC's integration agenda bilaterally and through the EU, Germany aimed to strengthen regional cooperation for the benefit of the people by contributing to peace, prosperity and security in the region.

Other important meetings scheduled to take place include the Ministerial Committee of the ORGAN (MCO) on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation and the ORGAN Troika which will be held at Army Foundation on Friday. The Summit will also be officially opened on Saturday.

Politics and Development