Southern African Development Community (Sadc) has launched a business council aimed at facilitating dialogue between private and public sector players in member states.
The platform is also aimed at enhancing investment in industrialisation and trade between member countries.
This was revealed at the fourth Sadc industrialisation week event held from August 5 to 9 2019 in Tanzania where, among other things, it was noted that intra-regional trade is low in Sadc and Africa at large.
A Sadc Industrialisation Week declaration draft indicates that investment in research, development and innovation remains low in the region with a majority of member states investing below one percent of Gross Domestic Product to advance competitiveness and industrial development.
“Notable challenges of industrialisation include weak project preparation, absence of project preparation funds, dependence on short term financing, weak legal and regulatory frameworks, trade barriers and infrastructure shortcomings.
“Public and private sector players were urged to work together. In this regard, the Sadc Business Council was launched to advocate and partner member states to improve the enabling and competitive business environment by engaging regional, national and local policy organs of Sadc to the extent that it impacts on regional economic development,” part of the declaration draft reads.
Spokesperson in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Mayeso Msokera, said the identified barriers would inform policy decisions both at national and regional level.
“Efforts to overcome these include the adoption of the Sadc power pool, the development of transport corridors, and establishment of development banks and construction of the national quality infrastructure such as the Malawi Bureau of Standards project,” Msokera said.