SADC develops regional industry protocol

SANF 19 no 29 – by Kizito Sikuka in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
A legal instrument that aims to improve the policy environment for industrial development and support implementation will be presented for approval by the 39th SADC Summit that meets 17-18 August in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania.

The acting Director for Industrial Development and Trade at the SADC Secretariat, Calicious Tutalife told journalists ahead of the Heads of State and Government Summit that the instrument – the SADC Protocol on Industry – was cleared by regional Ministers responsible for Justice/Attorneys-General in July, and is thus ready for endorsement by the leaders.

“We are looking forward to the protocol being signed during the 39th SADC Summit,” Tutalife said, adding that the draft protocol was validated by the Ministerial Task Force on Regional Economic Integration in June.

The process of approval of a regional legal instrument in SADC requires, first, signing, and then ratification, a process that differs from country to country.

A protocol “enters into force” following ratification by two-thirds of SADC Member States. This advances the regional law from being a stated intention to actual application.

Those member states that join after a protocol has entered into force are said to “accede” to the protocol.

It is envisaged that the Protocol will be ratified by the required minimum number of SADC Member States by 2020 to facilitate the implementation and advancement of the industrialization agenda in southern Africa.

Once ratified, the SADC Protocol on Industry will become a stand-alone and binding legal instrument that will entrench and give legal effect to the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap and its related Cost-Action Plan and will ensure adequate coordination, monitoring and evaluation of implementation.

The SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap, adopted in April 2015 in Harare, Zimbabwe, seeks to achieve major economic and technological transformation at national and regional levels to accelerate economic growth through industrial development.

The development of an industrialization strategy and roadmap was in realization that most SADC Member States continue to be among the poorest in the world despite abundant natural resources as the majority of them export these in their raw or unprocessed form.

A Costed Action Plan for the Strategy covering 2015-2030 was approved in March 2017 in Ezulwini, the Kingdom of Eswatini, and details the key actions, with reference to the three pillars of the strategy and the requisite activities, as well as the key enablers needed to unlock the region’s industrial potential.

In this regard, the development of a regional industry protocol is expected to strengthen the economies of countries in SADC and ensure that they are driven by industrial development and not based on exports of raw resources.

The SADC Protocol on Industry will also strengthen the level of industrial development in the region and facilitate the harmonisation of policies and strategies in member states.

Where member states already have such policies and strategies, these will be reviewed and aligned to the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap.

The 39th SADC Summit, which will see President John Pombe Joseph Magufuli of Tanzania assume the rotating SADC chair from his Namibian counterpart, Hage Geingob is running under the theme “A Conducive Environment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, Increased Intra-Regional Trade and Job Creation.”

Industrialization is a top priority for southern Africa, and since 2014 all SADC summits have focused on how the region can attain industrial development.

The Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) also recognises the importance of industrial development in the diversification and deeper integration of regional economies.

As per the theme of the 39th SADC Summit, member states will between August 2019 and August 2020 focus on creating a conducive environment to allow the private sector and other citizens of the region to actively participate in and fully benefit from measures aimed at advancing the industrialization agenda. sardc.net


Southern African News Features offers a reliable source of regional information and analysis on the Southern African Development Community, and is provided as a service to the SADC region. 

This article may be reproduced with credit to the author and publisher.

SANF is produced by the Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC), which has monitored regional developments since 1985.      Email sanf[at]sardc.net     

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