WINDHOEK, 13 AUG – A number of value chains in the Southern African Development Community’s mining, agro-processing and pharmaceutical subsectors will be developed to bankability and ready for investment by the private sector during 2018/19.
This was said by SADC Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax during the official opening of the SADC Council of Ministers meeting here on Monday.
Tax thus encouraged private sector and financial institutions to take advantage and invest in these value chain projects.
She explained that in line with the value chains that were profiled in 2016/17, namely mineral beneficiation and pharmaceuticals, the focus during the year under review was placed on developing value chain projects in these priority areas, and in profiling of agro-processing.
She further said member states have submitted proposed value chains that are being analysed to determine suitability for project preparation and commercial viability to attract financing or investment.
This forms part of the implementation of the Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2015-2020, which has industrialisation at its centre.
Tax said during 2017/18, which marked the third year of the implementation of the RISDP, the region also continued to implement measures to facilitate trade.
“Offers for the liberalisation of trade in services were finalised by 14 member states in the four sectors of financial, tourism, transport, and communication services.”
The negotiations in the other two priority sectors – construction and energy-related services – are ongoing with 12 member states which have submitted their offers in the construction services while nine in energy-related services.
Tax further expressed satisfaction with the progress made in the roll-out of the SADC Real Time Settlement System, which facilitates cross-border trade in the region.
The system is moving from a single currency settlement system, which previously dealt with South African Rand only, into a multi-currency settlement system with the addition of the US Dollar.
“Settlement in US Dollars on the current platform is expected to go live in October 2018, while the whole multi-currency platform is expected to be fully operational by December 2019,” Lawrence said.
The addition of the US Dollar is expected to facilitate greater cross-border trade and investment in the region.