SADC Regional Indicative Development Plan review not positive

20 Jun 2019 16:10pm
WINDHOEK, 20 JUN (NAMPA) - The preliminary data for the review of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Regional Indicative Development Plan (RISDP) for 2015 - 2020 does not look positive.
The aim of the review is to take stock of the achieved results and challenges encountered in the implementation of the development plan and inform the advancement of the long-term strategy framework post 2020.
Executive Secretary for Regional Integration at the SADC Secretariat, Thembinkosi Mhlongo, said the preliminary data does not paint a good picture in terms of achieving what was intended as the region's implementation record is not very encouraging.
Mhlongo was speaking during the SADC Council of Ministers for Education Meeting, which opened here on Thursday to review progress made on the implementation of the Education, Training, Science, Technology and Innovation programmes.
This will be done within the framework of the revised SADC Regional Indicative Development Plan (RISDP) for 2015 to 2020, and SADC Industrialisation Strategy for 2015 to 2063.
He said the region has made progress in addressing the infrastructure gap but is still far from achieving the desired connectivity.
“We have started addressing the issue of access to finance, with prioritisation of the establishment of the SADC Development Fund,” he said.
However, SADC has not significantly moved in addressing debt and this would be one of the stumbling blocks in the region's industrialisation efforts.
Meanwhile, Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, at the same event, explained that education in economics, social and cultural development is of critical importance as it can promote equitable and sustainable development, particularly within the RISDP.
“Despite notable progress in the implementation of the protocol and commendable efforts by member states to expand education and training provision, the region still faces major challenges that constrain the contribution of the education and training sector towards national and regional socio-economic development,” she said.
She also called on the region to invest in the youth, as such investment would result in the progression of sustainable development and youth empowerment for SADC.