Earlier this year, SADC approached USAID Southern Africa to request the Trade Hub’s support to Member States in developing roadmaps to implement SADC’s new regional investment policy guidelines. In consultation with SADC and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Trade Hub designed a support program to work closely with the leadership of investment promotion authorities and trade/investment ministries in selected SADC member states.
The Trade Hub is promoting the new SADC investment policy guidelines among key public, private, and parastatal stakeholders in each country, prioritizing specific recommended actions at the national level, and formulating country-specific approaches to implementation.
In September 2015, the Trade Hub joined forces with the National Strategy Office in Botswana, the Economic Development Board of Madagascar, the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre, the Mauritius Board of Investment, and the Zambia Development Agency to engage in an implementation-oriented outreach effort and dialogue. Over the last two months, the Trade Hub has facilitated over 100 meetings across these five SADC member states, which will culminate in national-level workshops where private sector players, public sector leaders, and association heads will come together to establish priorities and articulate plans for moving forward with the policy guidance.
The first of these planned national-level consultative workshops was held in Port Louis, Mauritius on Friday, October 23, 2015. Similar workshops have been scheduled in the other four member states for November 2015. All five countries are committed to presenting Way Forward Strategies for implementing the regional investment policy harmonization guidance at the next session of the SADC Investment Focus Group (IFG), which is scheduled for early December 2015 in Johannesburg. The Trade Hub will kick off its planned implementation support for a second group of five SADC member states at these December IFG meetings.