South African companies have pledged to invest $500 million in countries in the South African Development Community (SADC), President Cyril Ramaphosa announced at the weekend.
President Ramaphosa made the announcement at the conclusion of the two-day 38th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the SADC in Windhoek, in Namibia, on Saturday.
South Africa was the chair of the region between August last year and until this month. This year’s theme was “Promoting Infrastructure and Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development.”
President Ramaphosa, as the outgoing chair of SADC, reported to the Summit the work of the regional body for the duration of South Africa’s tenure guided by its tenure theme, “Partnering with the Private Sector in Developing Industry and Regional Value Chains”.
Outlining his stint, which began when he was inaugurated as South African president earlier this year, President Ramaphosa outlined that during South Africa’s tenure as SADC Chair, $500 million was secured of committed productive investments by South African companies in each of the priority value chains across the region.
These included investments in forestry, agriculture and agro-processing, fertiliser, mining and mineral processing, and pharmaceuticals. “We therefore need to ensure that we create a conducive environment for business to thrive, and to deepen our engagement with the private sector. Collaboration with the private sector is important not only in designing SADC regional strategies and initiatives, but also in identifying impediments to greater regional economic integration.” President Ramaphosa said.
President Ramaphosa said he was encouraged by strides taken to maintain peace and stability in the SADC region, including the holding of regular, free and fair elections, saying that “the consolidation of democracy and the elevation of the rule of law across the region is a sign of the improved effectiveness of our regional institutions and mechanisms”. Prior to attending the summit, President Ramaphosa joined the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security meeting on 16 August 2018.
The Summit marked the 26th anniversary of the adoption of the SADC Treaty, which was signed on 17 August 1992, and laid the foundation for the formation of SADC.
Former Presidents of Namibia, Sam Nujoma and Hifikepunye Pohamba, as well as Former President of Mozambique, Joaquim Chissano, as elder Statesmen of the region and founding fathers of the Southern African Development Community, were part of the SADC Day (17 August 2018) celebrations at the Summit.
The President handed the Chairship of SADC to Namibia President, Hage Geingob.
He also expressed gratitude to the region’s Heads of State for welcoming him warmly and supporting his chairship. – SAnews.gov.za
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