Trade and Industry on achieving SADC industrialisation objectives

Communication critical in achieving SADC industrialisation objectives

The Acting Director of Industrial Development and Trade at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat, Dr Lomkhosi Mkhonta-Gama says effective communication is of paramount importance if the objectives of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy were to be achieved.

Dr Mkhonta-Gama was speaking at a SADC Industrialisation Strategy Media Workshop that took place in Johannesburg.

The purpose of the workshop was to unpack the strategy to journalists who will be covering the second SADC Industrialisation Week that will be taking place at The Focus Rooms in Sunninghill, Johannesburg from tomorrow. The theme of the Week is Partnering with the Private Sector in Developing Industry and Regional Value Chains.

The leaders of SADC have repeatedly emphasised that industrialisation will lift the majority of the population of the SADC region out of poverty by creating the much needed jobs, especially for its young people. For this to become a reality, effective communication is of paramount importance, said Mkhonta-Gama.

She added that the SADC aspirations and achievements need to be disseminated through the media in order that the region is portrayed as the preferred cooperation partner of choice, the world over.

SADC must be made visible for all the good and successful initiatives that we drive. In this way, we will fully realise our development aim of eradicating poverty in the region, with our own citizens being prime drivers of regional integration.

It is our mandate to inform the people of the region on the regional agenda that will impact their daily lives and the lives of future generations. We cannot do this successfully without the contribution of the media. As we, together inform the people of the region, we are openly affording them the opportunity to contribute to the regional agenda so as to enable them to also participate in and contribute to the formation of that which concerns them.

This is our noble course and for that we need your partnership, stressed Mkhonta-Gama

She explained that the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap 2015-2023 was developed as an inclusive, long term modernisation scheme which will result in major economic and technological transformation of the region.

The Strategy is anchored on three pillars. These are industrialisation, which is seen as the tool for economic and technological transformation; competitiveness, which will move the region beyond comparative advantage to competitive advantage; and regional integration and geography, the context for accelerated industrial development and economic prosperity, said Mkhonta-Gama.

At the centre of SADC’s industrialisation efforts, the Strategy and Roadmap sets out three potential growth paths, namely agro-processing, mineral beneficiation and downstream processing value chains.

Source: Government of South Africa