The SADC extraordinary summit on industrialisation and integration opened at Lozitha Palace in Ezulwini, Swaziland this Saturday (today) morning with the SADC chair King Mswati III calling for the speedy implementation of the SADC strategy and roadmap for the industrialisation of the region.
The extraordinary summit which is focusing on industrialisation and regional integration was preceded by a summit of the double troika received and discussed a report on the implementation of SADC decisions in relation to the political situation in the Kingdom of Lesotho and an update on the political and security situation in the DRC.
South African deputy president Cyril Rhamaphosa is the facilitator in Lesotho and he was expected to give an update of the situation where the Mountain Kingdoms King Letsie the 3rd has dissolved parliament hardly two and half years into its 5-year term and calling for third elections in 5 years.
In his address at the opening ceremony King Mswati III said time is not on the region’s side as the first phase is scheduled to end in three years time (2020).
He stressed the need for synergies with the private sector in the implementation of the strategy and roadmap and its financing.
The King added that women, youths and those living with disabilities participation in industrial development is also critical.
He also said SADC’s commitment to establishing the SADC University of Transformation is on course.
The King added that priority should be given to forging partnerships with the private sector to realise the strategy as the private sector brings financial capital to the table, business acumen and entrepreneurial knowhow.
He said issues pertaining to the governance, legal requirements and programmes among others are being worked upon and will be submitted to the summit in August this year.
The envisaged SADC University of Transformation will strengthen the region’s skills base with particular focus on the youth and women.
The extraordinary summit underway in Swaziland is in response to the urgent call for industrialisation which was set in motion during President Robert Mugabe’s tenure as SADC chair.
Several SADC heads of state and government including President Mugabe are attending the extraordinary summit.
Among those attending are President Cde Robert Mugabe, Jacob Zuma current chair of SADC King Mswati III, Madagascar leader Heri Rajaonarimampianina, Edgar Lungu and the Lesotho leadership.