The Southern African Development Community (SADC) extra-ordinary summit of Heads of State and Government ended Wednesday in the Zimbabwean capital with the regional bloc adopting a 48-year strategy to spur industrialization in the region.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe

The industrialization strategy will be implemented in three phases from 2015 to 2063 and is aimed at repositioning SADC, endowed with vast natural resources, as a net exporter of processed products.
The bulk of the region’s mineral and agro products are currently exported in raw form, a development that deprives the region of maximum benefits from its resources.
“Summit approved the SADC industrialization strategy and roadmap and reaffirmed the importance of industrial development in poverty alleviation and the economic emancipation of the people of the region,” read part of the communiqu? issued at the end of the one-day summit.
The strategy is anchored on three pillars, namely industrialization, competitiveness and regional integration.
The industrialization strategy is aligned to the continental vision, Agenda 2063, a global strategy aimed at optimizing the use of Africa’s resources for the benefit of all Africans, added the communiqu?.
The summit was earlier opened by SADC chairperson and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe who decried poor industrialization levels in the region which he said had resulted in over 70 percent of the region’s population living in poverty despite abundant natural resources in the region.
Meanwhile, South African President Jacob Zuma briefed the summit on the xenophobic attacks against foreign immigrants which recently occurred in the country, leaving seven people dead and displacing thousands others.
“While condemning the attacks, Summit commended the measures that the government of South Africa has put in place and resolved to work together to deal with the situation and ensure it does not recur,” read the communiqu?.
Responding to follow up questions from journalists at a post- summit press conference, Mugabe stressed the need for the region to work together in finding lasting solutions to immigration problems in the region.
“It’s not one issue for South Africa to resolve but one for us all. There is need for measures by all of us to try and support the measures that the South African government is taking to avoid similar incidents happening again,” Mugabe said.
The one-day extra-ordinary summit was attended by leaders and ministers from the regional bloc. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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