- SADC industrialisation agenda
PRESIDENT John Magufuli on Monday challenged the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states to get rid of barriers that impede businesses in the region.
He made the remark in Dar es Salam during the inauguration of the fourth SADC industrialisation week and exhibition under the theme: “A conducive environment for inclusive and sustainable industrial development, increased intra-trade and job creation.”
He said there were several regulatory authorities in SADC member countries that affect the flow of business and delay investment processes.
Dr Magufuli noted that many traders were facing challenges at borders when they try to export or import products from one country to another within the region.
“We need to remove all these barriers for our region to move forward, let’s reduce the number of regulatory authorities so that traders and investors could operate their businesses without problems,” he noted further. Moreover, President Magufuli called on the SADC member states to prioritise on intra-regional and intra-Africa technology transfer to promote industrial growth.
He said that SADC countries should do business among themselves to increase capital and promote industrial development within their regional bloc and the continent at large.
Dr Magufuli said that industrial sector was crucial for development of any nation and in promoting economic growth, eradicating poverty and reducing unemployment.
He said industrialisation was the catalyst for economic growth and increased wealth for developed nations like the US, Japan, Germany, UK and France.
“We have witnessed in the recent years, Asian nations which in 1960s and 1970s were almost on similar levels of development with African countries they have today attained high level of industrial growth,” he noted.
He added: “Based on the history of developed nations, there is no short cut to economic revolution, we must first attain industrial revolution.” Dr Magufuli, however, said that the contribution of industrial sector in most African and SADC countries remains low.
“This sector contributes an average of 10 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Africa while in SADC it contributes only 11 per cent…according to the African Development Bank (AfDB) the contribution of manufactured goods globally was below three per cent,” Dr Magufuli said.
He further said that despite efforts being undertaken to promote the growth of industrial sector in Africa, its growth level was still low.
Dr Magufuli said that most African countries have continued to be poor because they produce raw materials for industrialised nations which were also sold at low price.
“It is currently estimated that 62 per cent of the world sales are primary goods from Africa…this is very large amount compared to other continents,” he said.
He further said that in 2017 trade volume between Africa and Europe was 280 billion Euros of which Africa imported goods worth 149 billion Euros and exported goods worth 131 billion Euros.
Dr Magufuli noted intra–African trade has remained below 20 per cent due to lack of industries while Latin America has 30 per cent, Asia 40 per cent, Europe over 60 per cent and SADC 22 percent.
He said that it was obvious that under such situation African countries spend a lot of foreign currencies for importing goods from developed nations instead of investing in development projects.
Dr Magufuli said that poor industrial growth has made Africa to continue having dependent economy, remaining in the vicious circle of poverty. The president further urged SADC countries to focus on promoting innovation and encouraging the use of simple technology.
“We have so many talented youth in science and technology but instead of supporting them, we import technologies from other nations and sometime they do not correspond with our environment,” he said.
He said there was also a need to encourage the establishment of small scale industries which in future will grow to large industries.
The fourth SADC industrialisation week and exhibition, which commenced yesterday is part of activities ahead of the 39th SADC Summit of heads of state and government scheduled for August 17 and 18 in Dar es Salaam.
The last time Tanzania hosted SADC was 2003. After president Magufuli assumes the chairmanship, several meetings of the economic bloc will be held in the country for one year.