SADC PF MPs meet over Economic Cooperation Featured

SADC PF MPs meet over economic cooperation SADC PF MPs meet over economic cooperation

By Moses Magadza

The SADC Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF)’s Standing Committee on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (TIFI) will hold its meeting on Monday, 13 May 2024, virtually under the theme: “Collaborative engagement on enhancing economic cooperation through opening up of services, reduction of tariffs, and bolstering the transport sector.’’

The meeting is one of a series - including face to face engagements for different standing committees - scheduled up to 22 May ahead of the 55th Plenary Assembly Session of SADC PF that will take place from 1 to 7 July 2024 in Angola.

The theme of the meeting resonates with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement and Africa Agenda 2063 on facilitating regional trade and economic integration, boosting infrastructural development, opening services, and promoting reduction of tariffs.

The Standing Committee hopes to derive meaning from Agenda 2063 thrust, acknowledging the pivotal importance of an efficient transportation system for facilitating trade, promoting regional integration, and enhancing mobility within Africa.

In the context of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the AfCFTA presents opportunities and challenges that require a regional perspective for effective implementation. The SADC region, comprising sixteen member states, plays a significant role in the African economy, with vast potential for intra-regional trade and economic growth.

Therefore, examining the AfCFTA within the framework of SADC is crucial for maximizing its benefits and addressing potential pitfalls. The Standing Committee will be able to appreciate and domesticate its understanding of the rationale behind the Agenda 2063, in so far as it impacts on transport and infrastructural development in the Region.

To strengthen the discussions, the Committee will evaluate the implementation of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA). The Region at large should leverage on the PIDA vision which recognizes the “Declaration on Infrastructure Development and Regional Integration in Africa.”

The PIDA was adopted at the 18th African Union Summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in January 2012, as representing the continental master plan for infrastructure development in transport, energy, transboundary water and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for the period 2012-2040. Within the framework of PIDA, the Committee will evaluate progress made by SADC Member States in the transport, energy, and industry sectors.

To facilitate in-depth deliberations, the Committee has engaged a Consultant, Ms. Trudi Hartzenberg, an expert in matters of regional trade and economic integration. Ms. Hartzenberg is the Executive Director of Trade Law Centre (TRALAC) based in South Africa.

Honourable Dithapelo Keorapetse, a Member of Parliament from Botswana and Deputy Chairperson, will chair the Committee on behalf of the Chairperson, Honourable Dr. Pinkie Manamolela from Lesotho.SADC PF Secretary General Ms Boemo Sekgoma said the virtual meeting provides an opportunity for the citizens of SADC to not only follow but contribute to discussions on pertinent current and emerging national and regional issues. In that connection, the SG encouraged members of the media fraternity, the academia and any interested people to follow the proceedings on zoom : https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIlduuopzwjHtVhYnxE8HKOYvAhTXeP2UL_

Last modified on Sunday, 12 May 2024 16:52
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The Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) was established in 1997 in accordance with Article 9 (2) of the SADC Treaty as an autonomous institution of SADC It is a regional inter-parliamentary body composed of Thirteen (14) parliaments representing over 3500 parliamentarians in the SADC region. Read More

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