FOREIGN Affairs and East African Cooperation Permanent Secretary, Dr Faraji Mnyepe, has expressed optimism that the industrialisation agenda was key to the growth of the economies of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and intra-regional trade among member countries.
Dr Mnyepe is now the new chairman of the SADC Senior Officials Committee which handed over the position to him over the weekend. Dr Mnyepe would be serving the post for the next one year when President John Magufuli will be chairing the regional body.
Dr Mnyepe thanked the outgoing chairperson of the committee, Ambassador Selma Ashipala-Musavyi, for the good work done in spearheading activities for the past one year.
“The industrialisation can only be ascertained through prioritizing development of targeted regional infrastructure, facilitating cross-border trade, investments and financial flows,” he said, while opening the committee’s meeting in Dar es Salaam where the SADC Heads of State of summit would be held.
He pointed out that improved intra-regional trade of goods and services were a stepping stone not only for unleashing the potential production chains and value addition, but also for promoting product and economic diversification.
“This will improve economic growth within the region and in turn create more jobs and employment opportunities for our youth,” he remarked.
Ambassador Ashipala- Musavyi said Tanzania had made important contributions to struggles against colonialism in SADC countries and for the first time this year, the regional bloc commemorated African Liberation Day on March 23.