SADC Chairman who is also Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has expressed concern that 70 percent of the population is living in poverty despite the various natural resources the region is endowed with.
Mr. Mugabe says SADC contributes about 72 percent of platinum, 55 percent diamond, 26 percent Gold and 8 percent copper to the global economy.
Mr. Mugabe was speaking when he officially opened the Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government on Industrialization in Harare, Zimbabwean.
Mr. Mugabe has noted that exporting raw materials compromises the region’s efforts to create jobs and diversify production.
He also noted that intra-trade in SADC has remained low around 10 percent while trade with the Asian Pacific and EU account for 45 percent and 27 percent.
The SADC Chair expressed confidence that the Regional Industrialization strategy if effectively implemented has the potential to make the region benefit from its resources.
And SADC Executive Secretary Stergomina Lawrence says the strategy seeks to produce major technological innovations within the framework of economic integration in the region.
Dr. Lawrence adds that the strategy further aims at accelerating the growth momentum noting that value addition will be done at national levels through partnerships with the private sector.
The strategy if adopted by the Heads of State will run from 2015 to
President Edgar Lungu is among six other Heads of State and Government that have attended the official opening of the SADC Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government.
ZNBC’s Brian Mwale is covering the summit in Harare, Zimbabwe.