Issue 01 | 14 August 2017
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The 37th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is taking place from 9 – 20 August 2017 in Pretoria, South Africa.

14 August
  • Pre-summit media briefing by the incoming SADC chairperson of the Council of Ministers and South Africa's Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, supported by the SADC Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax.
  • Launch of the SADC Success Stories publication.
15 – 16 August
  • SADC Council of Ministers Meeting.
Follow the opening ceremony live on Ubuntu Radio on or DSTV Channel 404
The Standing Committee of Senior Officials from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) took place from 10 – 11 August 2017 at the OR Tambo Building, Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), in Pretoria, South Africa.

This was the first meeting in a series of proceedings leading to the 37th Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government scheduled to take place from 19 – 20 August 2017 in Pretoria, South Africa, under the theme: Partnering with the Private Sector in Developing Industry and Value Chains.

The Standing Committee of Senior Officials is a technical advisory committee of the SADC Council of Ministers, and meets twice a year. It consists of one permanent/principal secretary, or an official of equivalent rank from each member states of SADC, preferably from a ministry responsible for economic planning or finance.

The Council of Ministers, set for 15 – 16 August 2017, oversees the functioning and development of SADC and ensures that policies are properly implemented.

The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the Standing Committee are appointed from the member states holding the Chairpersonship and Vice-Chairpersonship of the council. The Kingdom of Swaziland is the current Chair, while the Republic of South Africa is the Vice-Chair.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Finance Committee met on Saturday, 12 August, at OR Tambo Building, Pretoria, South Africa, as part of the series of meetings preceding the SADC Council of Ministers Meeting, and the 37th SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government.  
The objective of the meeting was to receive the reports from the Finance Subcommittee and the Audit Committee. The delegates scrutinised and debated on several issues and prepared recommendations to be presented to the Council of Ministers for consideration at its meeting to be held from 15 to 16 August 2017 at the same venue.

The Council of Ministers oversees the functioning and development of SADC and ensures that policies are properly implemented. The ministers will then submit their report to the Heads of State at their summit from 19 – 20 August 2017.

The SADC Summit is responsible for the overall policy direction and control of functions of the community, ultimately making it the policy-making institution of SADC.

More information about SADC institutions is available on the SADC website,
  As part of the implementation of the Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap 2015 – 2063, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat says it is working towards increasing intra-SADC regional and international trade to assist in expanding gross domestic product, creating more employment opportunities and ultimately, reducing poverty in the member states.

This is according to the SADC Secretariat's Acting Director of Industrial Development and Trade, Dr Lomkhosi Mkhonta-Gama, and Acting Director of Finance, Investment and Customs, Mr Sadwick Mtonakutha, who addressed a joint media briefing on Friday, 11 August 2017, at the OR Tambo Building, Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Pretoria, South Africa.

Dr Mkhonta-Gama noted that intra-SADC trade was low at 15 to 17%. He said as one way of increasing trade within the region, the SADC Secretariat was facilitating the development of regional value chains, in which member states would trade in products or services that were at various stages of the value chain.

On the international markets, Dr Mkhonta-Gama cited the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement in June 2016 between the European Union and six SADC member states, namely: Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and South Africa, as an important milestone towards opening up the European market for exports originating from SADC member states.

Dr Mkhonta-Gama emphasised the need for quality products and services that met international standards so that they could be competitive on the global market.

On his part, Mr Mtonakutha said that in order to increase trade both at regional and international levels, the Secretariat's mandate entailed enhancing SADC competitiveness in industrial and other productive activities for effective participation in the global economy.

He said one of the focus areas of the Secretariat was to ensure market integration of the SADC region through the establishment of the SADC Free Trade Area, the SADC Customs Union and the SADC Common Market.

The two directorates of Industrial Development and Trade and of Finance, Investment and Customs collectively aim to facilitate competitive and diversified industrial development and trade and financial liberalisation; increase investment for deeper regional integration; and eradicate poverty in the region.
The Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR) Directorate of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat is tasked with the coordination and harmonisation of agricultural policies and programmes in the SADC region, in line with priorities in the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP).

Addressing a media briefing on 11 August at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation's OR Tambo Building in Pretoria, the SADC Acting Director of FANR, Mr Bentry Chaura, called on the media in the region to publicise the new Highly Pathogenic Notifiable Avian Influenza (H5N8) virus and support control of the virus, which was known to have as high as 90% mortality rate among domestic and wild birds.

Mr Chaura explained that the region was working hard to eradicate the pandemic, and so far the Republic of South Africa, the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo were affected by the H5N8 virus.

The Acting Director briefed the media on the goals and objectives of the directorate, which is one of the 10 directorates in the SADC Secretariat. The overall goal and objective of the FANR Directorate is to develop, promote, coordinate and facilitate harmonisation of policies and programmes to increase agricultural production, productivity and competitiveness; promote sustainable utilisation of natural resources and the environment; and encourage agricultural trade.

Mr Chaura announced the launch of the SADC Regional Aquatic Animal Health Strategy (2016 – 2026) and the SADC Regional Aquaculture Strategy and Action Plan (2106 – 2026), which aim to improve national and regional aquatic biosecurity and aquatic animal health, facilitate aquatic development and promote an increase in aquaculture production and investment.

The media briefing provided an opportunity for the SADC Director to interact with the media and communicate some of the milestones achieved by the directorate, such as the development of the SADC Regional Agricultural Policy, Fisheries Programme, law enforcement and Anti-Poaching Strategy.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Industrialisation Week was co-hosted by South Africa's departments of trade and industry and international relations and cooperation on behalf of the South African Government in partnership with the SADC Secretariat and the Southern Africa Business Forum. The SADC Industrialisation Week is an annual regional public-private engagement platform aimed at fostering new opportunities for intra-regional trade and investment.
The second SADC Industrialisation Week kicked off on Monday, 31 July 2017, in Johannesburg, South Africa, under the theme: Partnering with the Private Sector in Developing Industry and Regional Value Chains.

In his official opening remarks, South Africa's Director-General of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Kgabo Mahoai, said the adoption of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap would help in addressing the ongoing challenge that Africa faced, namely: the transitioning from a commodity-driven growth path to value-adding and knowledge-based industrial economies.

Mr Mahoai said the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap, adopted by the SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government in 2015, set out three potential growth paths, namely: agro-processing; mineral beneficiation and downstream processing; and service-driven value chains.

"The paths are mutually supporting and inclusive, encompassing the combination of downstream value-addition and backward integration of the upstream provision of inputs, intermediate items and capital goods," said Mr Mahoai, adding that deeper regional integration was an essential prerequisite for the development of regional value chains and their integration into global value chains.

SADC launches Pharmaceutical Business Plan

As part of the ongoing activities marking the SADC Industrialisation Week in Johannesburg, on 2 August 2017, SADC launched a Pharmaceutical Business Plan, which encourages active private-sector participation.

The launch was in line with Article 29 of the Component of Protocol on Health (1999), established in August 2004, which places pharmaceuticals as a priority for improving access, affordability and effectiveness of pharmaceuticals within SADC member states.

Speaking at the launch, Senior Programme Officer, Health and Pharmaceuticals, at the SADC Secretariat, Mr Joseph Mthetwa, said the Pharmaceutical Business Plan aimed to harmonise standard treatment guidelines and essential medicine lists; promote research and production of genetics; and strengthen regulatory capacity and supply chain management systems.

"Through the Business Plan, we want to establish a regional databank of African traditional medicines and medical plants and develop and retain competent human resources for pharmaceutical programmes," said Mr Mthetwa, adding that the plan would facilitate trade in pharmaceuticals within the SADC region and promote operational research in pharmaceutical issues.

He added that the SADC Pharmaceutical Business Plan recognised that pharmaceutical manufacturing was providing new dimensions and opportunities for growth, either in active pharmaceutical ingredients or finished products in the region.

During the launch, the youth had an opportunity to share their views and experiences on how to develop new ideas to increase the level of public health in Pharmaceutical Sciences. They also discussed emerging threats for therapeutic failure as a result of limited support to research in Africa, and in particular within the SADC region.

SADC region needs repositioning through global value chains

The President of the Regional Standardisation Organisation, Dr Eve Christine Gadzikwa, says the SADC region should reposition itself through global value chains.

In her keynote address during the SADC Industrialisation Week on 3 August, Dr Gadzikha said the SADC region needed to strengthen capacities of regional policy-makers and key stakeholders to mainstream the development and promotion of regional value chains in their development action plans.

She said a value chain entailed a full range of activities that firms undertake to bring a product or service from its conception to its end users.

"To achieve industrialisation, SADC member states need to integrate in global value chains and upgrade in global value chains by moving to higher value-adding activities," added Dr Gadzikha, noting that the main challenge facing Africa was how to transition from the commodity-dependent growth path on which African countries found themselves, to value-adding, knowledge-intensive and industrialised economies.

Dr Gadzikwa said the SADC region should strengthen capacities of regional policy-makers and key stakeholders to mainstream the development and promotion of regional value chains in their development action plans. SADC should put in place a common regulatory and policy framework for developing regional value chains.

On his part, SADC Programme Officer, Industrial Policy, Dr Monnane Monnane, explained that, through a study undertaken within the SADC region, six value chain clusters had been identified in the fields of agro-processing, mineral beneficiation and related mining operations, pharmaceuticals, other consumer goods, capital goods and services.

Dr Monnane explained that value chains expanded production possibilities and enhanced cross-border utilisation of natural and human resources, but the key challenge for corporate and governance policy-makers was to identify entry points in value chains.

"However, participation allows advantageous integration in the highly competitive world of the 21st century. The participation can either be regional or global, or both – either way, they maximise national and regional economic prosperity," said Dr Monnane, adding that appropriate policies should be put in place to enhance value chain participation and cluster development and in deepening regional integration.

The 2017 Industrialisation Week placed value chains top on its agenda, recognising that one of the key changes in the organisation of global production and trade that has taken place over the last two decades was the growing importance of global value chains in managing and coordinating production and trade linkages across countries.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit is responsible for the overall policy direction and control of functions of the community, ultimately making it the policy-making institution of SADC.
It is made up of all SADC Heads of States or Government and is managed on a Troika system that comprises the current SADC Summit Chairperson, the incoming Chairperson (the Deputy Chairperson at the time) and the immediate previous Chairperson.

The Troika system vests authority in this group to take quick decisions on behalf of SADC that are ordinarily taken at policy meetings scheduled at regular intervals, as well as providing policy direction to SADC institutions in between regular SADC summits. This system has been effective since it was established by the summit at its annual meeting in Maputo, Mozambique, in August 1999. Other member states may be co-opted into the Troika as and when necessary.

The Troika system operates at the level of the Summit, the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, the Council of Ministers and the Standing Committee of Senior Officials. The application of two troikas at the level of the Standing Committee of Senior Officials, which comprises permanent or principal secretaries or accounting for government offices, ministries or departments and at the level of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation is referred to as the Double Troika.

The summit usually meets once a year around August/September in a member state at which a new Chairperson and Deputy are elected.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, a national of the United Republic of Tanzania is the sixth Executive Secretary and first female Executive Secretary of SADC.
She was appointed by the SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government during its 33rd meeting in Lilongwe, Malawi, and was sworn in on 18 August 2013.

South Africa marks Women's Month in August annually. This year marks the 61st anniversary of the Women's March to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956. On that day, up to 20 000 women of all races, class and religious persuasions protested against the extension of the pass laws. The march was a turning point in the role of women in the struggle for freedom and our society at large.

Great strides have been made since 1994 to improve the status of women.

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Editor: Delien Burger
Picture Editor: Yolande Snyman
Design and layout: Gladwin Komane


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