JOHANNESBURG — African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) president, Eve Gadzikwa has said Sadc cannot afford to be left behind by technological developments if its products are to be competitive on the global market.
BY PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI
In her keynote address yesterday at the ongoing Sadc Industrial Week in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa, Gadzikwa said the conference presented the region with an opportunity for soul-searching.
“This is an opportunity for us to take stock and reflect where we are in Africa,” she said.
Gadzikwa, who is also Standards Association of Zimbabwe director-general, said African countries needed to catch up with the rest of the world in industrialisation.
“Governments in Sadc need to push for an industrial upgrade and the manufacturing of quality finished goods,” she said. “It’s not business as usual. The sleeping giant, which is Sadc, should now reposition itself.”
Gadzikwa said countries such as Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Nigeria and Burkina Faso had implemented the “Made in Africa” concept following expos held since 2015. She highlighted that countries, which industrialised quicker, had significantly improved the lives of their citizens.
“Indeed, there is no single developed country that achieved economic growth without industrialisation,” Gadzikwa said, pointing out technological upgrades and information and communication technologies as a catalyst for industrialisation.
She underscored the need for governments to engage the private sector, which could play a complementary role in expanding service and infrastructural development.
“Such partnerships are key in countries where resources are limited,” Gadzikwa said. “The private sector fills important gaps in such economies.”
She said Sadc should fight for its own share of the global market and integrate into the value chains at a global level and urged the region to fight from one corner.
“It’s no longer sustainable for one country alone to produce finished goods and hope to succeed,” Gadzikwa said. “In Zimbabwe, we have command agriculture, but the end product should be converted at a global scale.”
Sadc Industrialisation Week, which opened on July 31 under the theme Partnering with the Private Sector in Developing Industry and Value Chains, ends today.