WINDHOEK– As Namibia prepares to host the 38th SADC Heads of State and Government Summit in August, the country is also expected to accommodate member state industry players during the regional Industrialisation Week.
The summit is scheduled for August 17 to 18 in Windhoek, while the 3rd SADC Industrialisation Week will take place on July 30 to August 1 at the same venue.
The theme of the event is the same as that of the SADC summit, which is “Promoting infrastructure development and youth empowerment for sustainable development.”
SADC Industrialisation Week was introduced in 2016 and has been adopted to precede SADC ordinary summits every year, and its output will be reported to the SADC Council of Ministers meeting.
The event is a public-private engagement platform aimed at fostering new opportunities for intra-regional and intra-African trade and investment, in developing cross-border value chains.
Since Namibia is the host for this year’s SADC summit, the Industrialisation Week is being organised by the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development in conjunction with the SADC Secretariat and the Southern Africa Business Forum.
President Hage Geingob urged Namibians to be creative in hosting the SADC Industrialisation Week.
“The idea is to plan and do things properly. Take them out when we talk of Industrialisation Week. I‘m thinking of … we have diamond cutting in this country. Diamond cutting is a big thing. Meatco is a big hit. Show them how proper that industry is. We talk of the fishing industry … show them. Show them videos of farming,” Geingob advised the preparatory committee.
Industrialisation ministry deputy permanent secretary, Annascy Mwanyengapo, explained the idea of holding an Industrialisation Week was a recent development in SADC.
She said it was first hosted by Swaziland in 2016 when it was the SADC chair and then last year by South Africa that was also the SADC chair.
“It is an event where you create a platform where SADC industry players come together to exhibit and promote regional goods and services,” she said.
Further, she noted, a country hosting the SADC summit is expected to take care of such an event so that local business people plus those from other SADC member states would come and display their products.
She said the platform will also be used for information sharing sessions relating to the SADC integration work programme.
“We would have people coming to speak on certain areas of SADC integration focus. It will also give visibility and promote SADC and its economic advancement,” she explained.
The platform will further be used for cultural exchange purposes by member states.