Salima, Malawi, 10 November 2021 (ECA) – Experts from the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Sub-Regional Office for Southern Africa and the government of Malawi held a two-day workshop to conceive an action plan towards alignment of Malawi’s national and regional industrialization frameworks such as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
A summary report presented at the workshop indicated that although Malawi has developed industrialization policy frameworks and implementation plans, these frameworks are not fully aligned to the regional frameworks and are neither harmonized amongst themselves nor in synergy. The report advised that for the success of the regional approach to industrialization through the pursuit of regional value chains, linkages and beneficiation as envisaged in the COMESA and SADC frameworks and the Tripartite, a harmonized industrial policy environment to underpin the regional industrial base, promote, leverage and exploit the benefits envisaged under both the Tripartite and AfCFTA, is imperative.
The workshop was officially opened by the Principal Secretary of Industry Mr. Peter Simbani in a speech delivered on his behalf by the Director of Administration Mrs. Sphiwe Mauwa who called on experts to come up with strategies in the proposed action plan consistent with regional frameworks including support to private sector growth as both a driver and beneficiary of the agenda. She said, “industrial development is central to economic diversification, enhancement of productive capacities, creation of wealth, employment, reduction of poverty and setting the economies on an inclusive and sustainable growth path”.
In the ECA Sub-regional Office for Southern Africa welcoming remarks delivered by Olayinka Bandele, Chief Industrialization Section on behalf of Director, Eunice Kamwendo applauded the government of Malawi for taking steps towards implementation of alignment and harmonization, as this is critical to accelerate industrialization in the country and the sub-region.
Ms. Kamwendo also pointed out that, “as a Sub Regional Office – we align our support to the aspirations, plans and strategies that member States in the sub-region have developed and committed themselves to. In this case, The SADC and COMESA industrialization strategies – guide our work and the support we provide to members states. Those policy instruments allow us to identify gaps or bottlenecks that need unlocking towards the goals for the sub-region”.
ECA Economic Affairs Officer, Fanwell Bokosi presented the objectives of the workshop, to address specific gaps identified in the study which ECA undertook on Alignment and harmonization of regional and national frameworks on Industrialization and National Domestication of Regional Strategies and Policies to Support Industrial Development in Southern Africa focusing on Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. “This Workshop provides a platform for stakeholders to discuss the study recommendations and develop an action plan towards alignment and harmonization of the national and regional industrialization frameworks”.
The workshop was attended by Government representatives from Ministries of Commerce, Industry, Trade, Industrialization, Regional Integration, Small and Medium Enterprises and Finance, representatives of the private sector, experts in industrialization, industrial policy development, value chains development, trade and regional integration, academic and research institutions, micro, small and medium enterprises, women business organizations, youth groups and Civil Society Organizations.
The Sub-Regional Office for Southern Africa
UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
P.O. Box 30647, Lusaka, Zambia.
Mrs. Lavender Degre,
Tel : +260 211 228502/5 Ext. 21307
Mobile : +260 966797779
Email : email@example.com
Public Relations Officer,
Mobile : +265 996241885
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org