Home » Business » Zimbabwe Will Host 21st Session of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts for Southern Africa

Industrialization has become a major discourse and priority issue for Southern Africa in recent years as member States, Regional Economic Communities, Economic Commission for Africa and other institutions strategize on how to make the current wave of industrialization work for Africa.

In response to sub-regional priorities, ECA Sub-Regional Office in Southern Africa will convene the 21st Session of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts (ICE) meeting on Industrialization under the theme Accelerating Industrialization in Southern Africa through Beneficiation and Value Addition. An issues paper under the same theme will form the main document for discussion and review.

It is the second ICE within a space of three years that will focus on Industrialization. The 19th Session of ICE, in 2013 was convened under the theme Industrialization for Economic Transformation and Sustainable Development in Southern Africa: Addressing the gaps.

The upcoming ICE will be hosted by the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe from 12-13 March 2015 in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. The meeting will aance regional efforts including a request by the Southern Africa Development Community -SADC for ECA’s support in developing a roadmap and strategy document on industrialization. During the Heads of States Summit held in Zimbabwe in August 2014, SADC Heads of State adopted the ‘SADC Industrial Development Framework’ and directed the SADC Secretariat to develop a roadmap and strategy document on how to implement the industrial framework. Zimbabwe is the current Chair for SADC.

Further, the Common Market for East and Southern Africa – COMESA is finalizing an industrialization policy to support member States in their quest to industrialize. The 2013 and 2014 editions of the Economic Reports on Africa, a joint publication ECA and the African Union recommended building and implementing dynamic industrial policy frameworks that are organic and not based on donor blueprints. Both reports recommended the creation of appropriate inclusive and transparent institutional industrial policy mechanisms, appropriately directed local content policy and the adoption of strategic interventions to include indigenous firms in supply chains among others.

The ICE is a UN statutory annual meeting which brings together experts from Southern Africa and the continent to discuss current and pressing issues affecting the social and political economy of the Southern Africa region. The past ICE meetings have attracted experts and a wide pool of stakeholders from governments, private sector, academia, international development organizations and civil society. It provides a forum for sharing ideas and lessons from a diverse pool of expertise and experiences through roundtables, presentations and open discussions.

The ICE will be preceded by a two-day Expert Group Meeting on ‘Agro-industry development for food and nutritional security in Southern Africa’ to discuss and review the state of the agriculture sector in Southern Africa. The meeting with take place from 9th to 10th March 2015, at the same venue.

Source : United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

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