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Industrialization, manufacturing and regional value chains top the agenda of the twenty-seventh session of ICSOE hosted by Malawi

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Industrialization, manufacturing and regional value chains top the agenda of the twenty-seventh session of ICSOE hosted by Malawi

The twenty-seventh session will focus on the reasons for the continued dependence on commodity exports and the lack of manufacturing development in the sub-region.

BLANTYRE, Malawi, October 12, 2021 / APO Group / –

The twenty-seventh session of the Intergovernmental Committee of Senior Officials and Experts (ICSOE) for Southern Africa on the theme ‘Building back better from COVID-19 in Southern Africa: fostering industrialization, manufacturing and supply chains regional values ​​based on commodities, ”begins Wednesday, October 13, 2021 with remarks by Honorable Felix Lafiel Mlusu, Minister of Finance of Malawi; Honorable Thabo Sofonea, Minister of Finance of the Kingdom of Lesotho, President of the 26th ICSOE; Ms. Chileshe Kapwepwe, Executive Secretary of COMESA; Mr. Elias Mpedi Magosi, Executive Secretary of SADC; Ambassador David Claude Pierre, Permanent Representative of the AU Regional Office for Southern Africa (AU-SARO) and Ms. Vera Songwe, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

ICSOE is a political sub-organ of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) of the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). The Committee was established to provide a forum to engage senior officials and experts from Member States on policy and program issues in each of Africa’s five sub-regions – Central, East, North, South and West . ICSOE is therefore an integral part of the governance mechanism of ECA and meets annually to review, provide guidance and approve the formulation and implementation of the work programs of the subregional offices (SROs) of the Commission in accordance with the priorities of each sub-region. . In this regard, the Committees formulate recommendations with a view to ensuring that the development imperatives of each sub-region are fully integrated into the overall work program of the Commission.

ICSOE is headed by a Bureau, composed of a president, a vice-president and a rapporteur, elected at each session, and sitting until the next meeting. As the executive body of the Committee, the Bureau works closely with the Secretariat to carry out the planned work and implement the recommendations of the ICSOE. The ECA SRO-SA based in Lusaka, Zambia, is one of the five SROs of the ECA and serves eleven Member States, namely Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The current ICSOE Bureau of the Committee elected at its twenty-sixth session hosted virtually by the Kingdom of Lesotho in October 2020 includes the Kingdom of Lesotho as chair, Malawi as vice-chair, and South Africa. South as rapporteur.

The meeting brings together senior officials from industrialization, regional integration, trade and the private sector, including micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) from member states, as well as representatives of the Development Community of Southern Africa (SADC) and the Eastern and Southern Common Markets. African Secretariats (COMESA). Representatives of civil society organizations, academic and research institutions, professional organizations, the United Nations family and other ECA entities participate in the meeting.

Specifically, the twenty-seventh session will focus on the reasons for the persistent dependence on commodity exports and the lack of manufacturing development in the sub-region; lack of progress in addressing critical constraints to inclusive industrialization and regional value chains; the implications of Covid-19 on inclusive industrialization, manufacturing and regional value chain development in Southern Africa; emerging opportunities for industrial and private sector development in Southern Africa with particular attention to the potential to leverage the green, blue and digital economies; the implications of AfCFTA on regional and national industrialization strategies and cross-border cooperation in industrial and manufacturing development, including how to position and market “Made in Africa” and foster regional intra-industrial trade; as well as ways to leverage the opportunities presented by AfCFTA to stimulate agricultural value chains and economic transformation in Southern Africa.

Building on the observations and proposals of the Twenty-Sixth ICSOE, this session is expected to come up with a set of well-informed policy recommendations with a clear implementation path on commodity-based industrialization, manufacturing and manufacturing. value chain development, including agricultural value chains, linkages and transformation in southern Africa.

This meeting of the intergovernmental committee will be preceded by a meeting of the ad hoc expert group to be held on October 12, 2021 on the theme: Agricultural value chains, linkages and transformation in Southern Africa: opportunities for the continental free trade area African. The main objective of the meeting is to provide a platform for the experts to deliberate on two draft study reports prepared by the consultants in order to gather comments, inputs and recommendations that will inform the finalization of the reports and ensure their relevance to policy makers and other relevant stakeholders. in southern Africa in the context of better post-COVID-19 reconstruction. The recommendations should be presented to ICSOE for consideration and adoption by the Committee.

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