WITH Tanzania getting an opportunity to host the Southern African Dev elopment Community (SADC) this month, it is v ital for Tanzanians to know the opportunities which arise from this high profile summit.
As we know, SADC promotes Regional Integration as a means for the dev elopment of Southern Africa. Regional Integration involv es cooperation among Member States, but SADC also recognizes the important contribution of the Private Sector in the region.
As SADC Member States liberalize their economies, the private sector will grow economically and for society as a whole. Working together, SADC and the private sector have identified several areas in which priv ate sector involvement can benefit the region.
The Private Sector has driven regional trade and investment over the past decade through emphasis on Liberalization and International Cooperation. Foreign Direct Investment, as well as priv ate investment in regional capital markets, has spurred industrial and infrastructural dev elopment throughout the region, providing a strong boost to the economy and society.
Furthermore, the private sector’s ability to monitor trade and investment has provided SADC with information on legislative and technical barriers to trade and investment.
This assistance has led to the creation of a SADC-wide Free Trade Area, as an initial step toward deeper economic integration of the region. Developing Infrastructure is a primary target for SADC, as it enables other economic sectors to perform and grow, as well as improves the mobility of people in the region, especially for those in impoverished rural areas.
While plans for improvements to rural infrastructure already exist, SADC has turned to the private sector for assistance in their funding and implementation.
Through public-priv ate partnerships, SADC Member States are able to gain funding and technical capacity for these planned infrastructure projects while generating employment for people and economic gains for the region as a whole.
Agriculture is the primary source of livelihood for many people in most parts of Africa, Tanzania included, either as a commercial venture or as subsistence farming.
The Private Sector is directly able to contribute to the agricultural sector through partnerships with small-scale subsistence farmers, offering them training and technical assistance to increase their productivity and providing them with funding for expansion and distribution.
As the Member States converge in Dar es Salaam this month, the Priv ate Sector is uniq uely positioned to identify Barriers to Trade and to make recommendations to SADC on how to improve regulations that foster growth in the agricultural sector.