The SADC Council of Ministers which met on 26 and 27 March 2018 in Pretoria, South Africa deliberated on several issues of importance to the region in relation to the priority programmes contained in the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan 2015-2020; the Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ; and the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap 2015-2063.

At a post�Council media briefing on 27 March 2018 in South Africa, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa and Chairperson of the SADC Council of Ministers, Dr Lindiwe Sisulu, said that the Council received status reports on the implementation of decisions it had taken in August 2017; as well as progress on the implementation of the 2017/18 Corporate Plan of the Secretariat, and operational plan and budget for 2018/19.

Achievements recorded across the SADC priority areas of industrial development and market integration; infrastructure support for regional integration; peace and security; special programmes of regional dimension; cross-cutting issues as well as corporate services and institutional reforms, were also noted by the Council, she added.

The Council was apprised of progress made on the implementation of the SADC Industrialization strategy and roadmap for 2017/18. The highlights include: the identification, profiling and commencement of the development of value chains in the pharmaceutical, minerals and agro-processing sectors. The Secretariat has been directed to convene meetings to assist Member States with negotiating and developing value chains in leather, soya, aquaculture, iron and steel, copper, cement and manufacturing of ARVs, malaria medicines and mosquito bed nets.

Dr. Sisulu pointed out that the Council noted the progress on the development of the SADC Regional Resource Mobilisation Framework and directed the Secretariat to finalise the framework and other viable and alternative options of financing regional projects. The Council also took note of the progress made towards the operationalisation of the SADC University of Transformation, which will contribute towards capacity building in the region, as well as deliver educational training using the vocational educational training model.

Approval was also conveyed for the establishment of a regional financing facility for SADC transfrontier conservation areas to be supported by International Cooperating Partners resources. SADC Secretariat was directed to finalise modalities to operationalise the facility.

In regard to the outbreak of listeriosis in the region, Council urged Member States to harmonize prevention, detection and response procedures; strengthen the control of food industries in terms of compliance to food safety standards; and enforce policies that are aligned to international codes.

Member States have been urged to strengthen cross border collaboration in the importation of processed foods. They have been invited to establish mechanisms for inter-sectoral and multi-sectoral coordination and effective communication to facilitate implementation of core public health capacities, all hazards risk assessment approach including addressing risk management for listeriosis outbreak.

Source: Government of Mauritius