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KINSHASA, DRC – Southern African countries have all they need to turn things around for the better.

He said this was only possible if the countries worked together by sharing skills and expertise in line with the guiding principles and strategies of the organisation. In his interventions for the 42nd SADC Summit of Heads of State and government, the king noted how the theme for this year’s summit is one that resonated with all member states. “As SADC member states, we have suffered greatly from the economic downturn occasioned upon us by events over the past few years. It is time that we actualise our words and visions and deliver on the statement that the theme speaks to,” he emphasised.

industrial activities

The king also shared how Eswatini’s Industrial Development Policy (2015-2022) is aligned with the SADC industrialisation strategy and road map which seeks to promote and diversify the country’s industrial activities. It also seeks to increase employment and utilisation and beneficiation of local and regional raw materials in the production of goods for domestic and export markets, as well as to promote broad-based industrialisation. He appreciated the assistance Eswatini had received through the SADC Trade Related Facility (TRF) for the review of the industrial development policy and the development of a value chain strategy for Eswatini. Through this assistance, the king said the country had outlined agro-processing, mining and mineral beneficiation and pharmaceuticals as priority sectors in our industrial development policy.

He further welcomed the delivery of the 2013-2018 Development Objective Grant Agreement which sought to support closer regional integration. The Kingdom of Eswatini was one of the beneficiaries and has seen progress in targeted areas such as HIV and AIDS, food security, agriculture and trade, among others. “We are also looking forward to the implementation of the SADC pooled procurement services. This will allow us to collectively source, and sell, our goods at preferential rates,” he said. His Majesty stated that these services would also counter the impacts of the current challenges, including the disruption of global supply chains due to conflicts and other socio-economic problems. “We are currently implementing the value chain strategy where horticulture, as well as meat and its products, were identified as sub-sectors with great potential. Therefore, we encourage member states to collaborate with us to deepen regional value chains,” he urged.

The king said the country was also implementing the SADC industrialisation strategy and road map. From this, he shared, several pack houses across the country had been constructed to enhance cold chain management to improve the turnaround time for smallholder farmers and encourage them to venture into the business.

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