Namibian CEOs, Executives, MP’s and leading figures from government, SOE’s and the private sector came together in the capital, Windhoek to attend a first of its kind Public Seminar on the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap. They came together to discuss the very pressing aspects of Industrialisation and how to effectively implement and develop this vital concept in the region. The targets for industrialisation and improvement for the population are very ambitious; the region wants to achieve an average salary of US$ 9000 per capita by 2050, increasing this to US$ 17,000 by 2063. This is a necessity for the very survival of the region. This is where Industrialisation shines imbue inclusivity and balanced development.
The SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap is the blueprint for our regional efforts towards the attainment of our economies’ structural transformation. The Strategy and Roadmap is essentially underpinned by the adoption of national Industrial Policies as well as the implementation of the Industrial Upgrading and Modernization Programme (IUMP) across all member states.
It is the first ever Public Seminar on Industrialisation, in the past this has always been the domain of lower level officials and discussions. Although there are existing and nascent Bilateral Cooperation on Industrial Development with South Africa, Angola and Zambia, even greater collaboration amongst the SADC nations is essential, in both the Public and Private sector. This is done through trade agreements, engaging in bilateral, regional, multilateral trade and economic integration arrangements, particularly finalising negotiations towards the Tripartite Free Trade Area amongst Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) as well as the East African Community and SADC. These are stepping stones towards the Continental Free Trade Area, as well as the process leading to the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference geared towards conclusion of the “recalibrated” Doha Development Agenda scheduled for December 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya. The Seminar is a kick-off to true and continued bi-lateral cooperation and partnership where Industrialisation at all levels becomes the engine of the economies.
By financing and investing in this Industrialisation push at every level, Namibia is truly looking to the future. The nation’s budget is geared to this and the Ministry has even changed its name to reflect the importance of all aspects of Namibia’s Industrialisation ambitions and especially the SME sector, the Ministry is now called; Ministry of Industrialisation Trade and SME Development (MITSD). This is the clearest statement that the government, nation and a region can make when it comes to the serious commitment to industrialising.