August this year is proving to be an important month for Tanzania. This is basically on account of the fact that the country hosts both the ‘Fourth Sadc (Southern African Development Community) Industrialisation Week’ (August 5-9), which will be followed by the 39th Sadc Summit of Heads of State and Government from the Community’s 16 member countries (August 17 and 18).
President John Magufuli, graced the Industrialisation Expo at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre. He will chair the Summit.
At the end of it all, President Magufuli will assume the Sadc Chairmanship for the next year to August 2020.
The foregoing niceties aside, the Sadc Secretariat has been busy on the sidelines, putting together as it were ways and means which would enable member countries of the regional bloc to make meaningful and sustainable progress in all-inclusive socio-economic developmental terms. One exemplary result of this is the 14 million-euro (Sh35 billion) deal with the European Union (EU) to finance improvement of the investment and business environment within Sadc – both for Sadc as a regional economic bloc, and for its constituent members.
Trade and Industry ministers from the Sadc nations and private sector operators – as well as representatives from both multilateral and bilateral development partners – witnessed the launching of the 5-year programme in Dar es Salaam.
The good thing about this is that the presence of virtually all the major stakeholders at the symbolic launching ceremony in Tanzania would have symbolically committed themselves and the institutions they represent to implementation of the related development programmes.
If implemented in full and on time, the benefits of the programmes under the Sadc umbrella are multifarious. But the general fear – as always – is that walking the talk is no child’s play... Or will it be different this time? Anyway, long live Sadc!