Media Statement for the Post ICM Media Briefing by SADC Executive
Secretary Dr Tomaz Augusto Salomáo, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg,
South Africa, June 23, 2006
The 2006 meeting of
the SADC Integrated Committee of Ministers (ICM) was hosted by the Government
of the Republic of South Africa on June 22 and 23, 2006 at the Sandton Convention
Centre in Johannesburg.
The ICM is responsible for ensuring proper policy
guidance, coordination and harmonisation of cross-sectoral activities of SADC,
through its functions which include overseeing activities of four directorates.
These are: Trade, Industry, Finance, and Investment (TIFI); Food, Agriculture
and Natural Resources (FANR); Infrastructure and Services (I and S); and Social
and Human Development and Special Programmes (SHD and SP) as well as the cross-cutting
issues of Gender Equality, Statistics, and Science and Technology. This mandate
includes monitoring and evaluation of the work of the Secretariat and taking decisions
to that would otherwise wait for a formal meeting of the Council of Ministers.
this sitting, the ICM reviewed implementation of priorities of the Regional Indicative
Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) for 2005/2006 and execution of last year's
REGIONAL INDICATIVE STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT PLAN
ICM also noted that the implementation of the region's blue print for integration,
the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP), which was adopted
by Summit in August 2003, completed the first of its 15-year lifespan during the
fiscal year 2005/2006.
The RISDP has broad targets and priorities of which,
five have been identified for immediate implementation. These are in the areas
of Peace, Security and Democracy as pre-requisites for regional integration; Trade
and Economic Liberalisation, Infrastructure and Services Development as the core
area for regional integration; Human and Social imperatives such as HIV and AIDS,
Food Security; and cross-cutting issues with critical bearing on these core integration
areas of regional development. The RISDP has been unbundled into a management
cycle of business plans within the 15, 5 and 1 year implementation framework.
The ICM has urged the Member States to mainstream the RISDP into their national
development plans and resolved to recommend to the Council of Ministers to approve
the introduction of the policy and planning element into the structures of the
priority Directorates. This will enhance the capacity of Directorates for operational
planning, monitoring and reporting.
The meeting also approved and adopted
Cluster Reports on the implementation of programmes and activities therein, including
priorities for the next financial year.
In reviewing the progress and achievements
of the four SADC Directorates in the last year, the ICM also took cognisance of
the shortcomings and challenges that contributed to delays in executing some of
the programmes and activities.
The challenges include inadequate human resources
capacity for the Directorates which are below complement, as some senior positions
are still in the process of being filled, while others remain frozen due to the
absence of budgetary allocations.
I will now specifically address myself
to the activities of the four Directorates and Cross-cutting issues units of the
DIRECTORATE TRADE, INDUSTRY, FINANCE & INVESTMENT
The SADC Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (TIFI) Cluster Ministers
deliberated on the implementation of the 2006/07 priorities with the following
On Goods and Services Market Integration, the ICM urged Member
States to submit their gazetted SADC Tariff Phase Down schedules for 2006, noting
the progress made on the Review of SADC Rules of Origin and urged Member States
and Secretariat to finalise recommendations to Ministers responsible for Trade
on the latter. These would expedite the implementation of the Protocol on Trade
that will lead to the attainment of the SADC Free Trade Area by 2008.
regard to the preparation for the SADC Customs Union the ICM requested Ministers
of Trade and Finance to constitute a task force to spearhead activities leading
to the formation of the SADC Customs Union by 2010. The ICM also urged Member
States to expedite the decision on the extension of the agreement between the
Southern African Customs Union (SACU) countries and Malawi, Mozambique, the United
Republic of Tanzania and Zambia (MMTZ) known as the SACU-MMTZ Textiles and Clothing
Quota Arrangement that would allow the MMTZ countries to export these products
to the SACU countries.
You may be aware that some of the SADC Member States
belong to other economic blocks with different trade arrangements which presents
concerns because legally, no one country is allowed to belong to more than one
customs union. By 2010, SADC's own Customs Union will be in place and each country
has to choose where it wants to belong to. The ICM has thus urged the Member States
to submit their positions to the Secretariat on this issue. The ICM also requested
Ministers of Trade to submit recommendations on overlapping trading arrangements
to the Council of Ministers meeting in August 2006.
On Customs cooperation
and Trade Facilitation, the ICM expressed appreciation for the financial support
by the EU for the preparatory programmes for the establishment of a SADC Customs
The ICM also deliberated on Five areas for Enhancing Productive Competitiveness
and directed the Secretariat to expedite the establishment of the Science and
Technology desk and to work on a comprehensive programme and resources required
to support the TIFI Directorate in implementing the harmonisation framework, particularly
the Protocol on Mining in general.
On Multilateral Trade Issues, the ICM
noted the state of play of WTO Doha development Agenda (DDA) and the development
in the SADC-EPA negotiations. A report on the DDA will be presented to the August
2006 Council of ministers. As regards Financial and Capital Markets Developments
and Macroeconomic Convergence ICM noted the agenda of the Ministers of Finance,
particularly the Draft SADC Finance and Investment Protocol (FIP) that will concretise
the legal instruments in the area of finance and Investment.
ICM also noted
the progress report of the EU-SADC Investment Promotion Programme (ESIPP) and
the TIFI Business Plan 2006/07 and directed the Secretariat to ensure that the
TIFI structure and staffing levels are adequately addressed in the planned job
DIRECTORATE OF SOCIAL HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND SPECIAL
PROGRAMMES (SHD & SP)
The ICM noted that this Directorate continued
to focus on policy issues and facilitation of the implementation of the programmes
aimed at increasing access to quality social services such as education and health.
In this regard, priority was accorded to the finalisation of Implementation Plans
of the SADC Protocol on Education and Training and the SADC Protocol on Health
which are now in force.
The ICM noted progress made in a number of areas,
including health where progress was made especially in combating major communicable
diseases such as HIV and AIDS and Malaria, which is one of the main priorities
of the region.
In education, preparation has been undertaken to leverage
resources for improving access to education and training through open and distance
learning as well as the development of the national and the regional qualifications
Key ICM decisions implemented by this Directorate during the
period under review include the development of the SADC Pharmaceutical Plan and
its Business Plan, development of the SADC Avian and Human Influenza Preparedness
and Response Plan and the integration of the SADC Local Government Desk in to
the SADC structure.
The ICM also noted the challenges and constraints that
affected the Directorate in the process of discharging its duties, including the
effective implementation of some of the 2005-06 approved priorities which was
hampered by financial and human resource constraints as some of these priorities
were not allocated resources in the 2005/6 Budget. Furthermore, the region needs
to scale up interventions on combating communicable and non-communicable disease.
Of particular concern is the limited progress made in combating tuberculosis despite
it having been declared an emergency in Africa including the SADC region.
also noted that the Cluster continued to face the problem of limited policy guidance
and direction at the Ministerial level, especially in the areas of Labour and
Employment; Culture, Information and Sports because Ministers in these areas have
not had an opportunity to oversee the implementation of the RISDP and to adopt
a common position at the continental and international levels as the relevant
Senior Programme positions remain frozen.
The ICM has endorsed the Directorate's
Business Plan and Priorities for 2007/08 and actions that would address some of
these challenges and constraints and facilitate effective implementation of the
RISDP. These priorities include coordination and implementation of Business Plans
for the Protocols on Health and Education and Training; Strengthening of national
quality assurance systems within the context of the Regional Qualifications Frameworks;
Implementation of the SADC/African Development Bank (ADB) Project on Open and
Distance Learning; Coordination and facilitating the implementation of programmes
on the prevention and control of major communicable and non-communicable diseases
including traumas and accidents and the development of a regional strategy to
accelerate HIV and AIDS prevention in all SADC Member States.
AND SERVICES (I & S) DIRECTORATE
The ICM noted that the Directorate
continued to facilitate programmes that promote access to transport, communications,
energy, water and tourism by the rural disadvantaged and seeks to promote community
participation in the mainstream business as a vehicle for poverty reduction and
attainment of MDG targets and reviewed a number of projects undertaken by this
Directorate during the period under review as follows:
The ICM noted that the consortium of Westcor that
seeks to address the diminishing electricity capacity in the region by exploiting
the Congo waters at Inga III has established an office in Gaborone, Botswana and
is now in the process of mobilising resources to kick start the project by constructing
power transmission lines to countries in need of energy.
Access and Electricity Prices in the Region
ICM also noted that most
of the SADC governments are assisting in the electrification drive of domestic
consumers, especially the rural areas consumers to enhance the quality of life.
Most SADC countries, the ICM noted have put in place policies and programmes to
enhance access to energy by the disadvantaged rural populations in order to meet
the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). The meeting further noted that for the
year 2003/04 on average, 30% against a SADC targeted 70% access to modern forms
of energy supplies to rural communities by 2018.
In an effort to meet the
MDGs, ICM encouraged Member States to support and expedite reforms of their electricity
utilities geared towards the provision of competent, efficient, cost effective
and affordable energy services, especially to address access to modern energy
by the rural communities.
The meeting also directed the SADC Secretariat
to facilitate the sharing of regional best practice modalities regarding access,
ownership, and financing options for rural electrification.
ICM noted that SADC continues to achieve a low market share in tourism
on the global markets, due to low arrivals from global source markets, caused
by some impediments including visa restrictions in the region to which effect
the ICM resolved that the SADC Ministers responsible for tourism should meet to
finalise the modalities for the UNIVISA implementation in consultation with key
RSA 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup Promotion Strategy
maximise benefits on tourism from the RSA 2010 Soccer World Cup, SADC Council
directed the Secretariat and the Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa
(RETOSA) to formulate a strategy to benefit from visitors to the World Cup in
South Africa in 2010. The ICM reviewed the use of SADC Transfrontier Parks Conservation
Parks as a major attraction for the event. Member States are now making proposals
on how to benefit from the 2010 World Cup be in a report the ICM will review on
Liberalisation of air transport market
The ICM noted
and commended the progress made by the region with institutional reforms aimed
at enabling full implementation of the air transport liberalisation process in
line with Article 9.2 of the SADC Protocol on Transport, Communications and Meteorology
that requires SADC countries to implement gradual air transport liberalisation
of intra-regional air transport markets for the SADC airlines.
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCE (FANR)
The ICM noted progress the Directorate
made in the implementation of the RISDP and the Dar-es-Salaam Declaration on Agriculture
and Food Security as follows: The food security situation for most Member States
has improved this year as compared to last year which means the region is likely
to require less humanitarian assistance.
This is due to measures taken by
Member States to implement the May 2004 Summit Declaration on Agriculture and
Food Security enhanced by the improved rainfall during the 2005/06 season. Some
countries like, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia, have reported surplus
maize production while Namibia, United Republic of Tanzania and Zimbabwe have
indicated significant increase in production. Total regional cereal production
for 2006 is assessed at 21.31 million tonnes, which is 15 percent lower than last
year's production of 24.99 million tonnes.
This is due to a substantial
reduction in maize production in South Africa from 11.45 million tonnes in 2005
to the 2006 forecast of 6 million tonnes. Regional maize harvest for 2006 is estimated
at 15.78 million tonnes, representing a 20% decrease over last year's harvest
of 19.74 million tonnes. Other harvests are estimated at 2.82 wheat; 713,000 rice
and 1.84 sorghum/millet million times.
The ICM also noted the increase
in cassava production of which 22.03 million tonnes reflecting an increase of
19 per cent over last years' production of 18.47 million tonnes.
also reviewed main challenges affecting food production in particular, key inputs
and water management. Regarding the inputs, where the Secretariat in collaboration
with Member States and COMESA has developed a Draft Regional Fertiliser Strategy
aiming at improving access and use of fertilisers. It also aims to bring closer,
achievement of the NEPAD's Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme
(CAADP) goal of attaining a 6% annual agricultural growth at national level by
In the area of water management and irrigation, ICM noted progress
in developing a regional programme in the Upper Okavango, Middle and Lower Zambezi/
Shire water basins of which the first two sub-basin programmes estimated at about
US$138 million will be submitted to the African Development Bank (AfDB) Board
of Governors in August 2006 for possible funding, while the last one is being
The ICM urged Member States to be vigilant in their livestock
surveillance and control of transboundary animal diseases in order to promote
production and trade in livestock and livestock products.
To avert the Avian
Influenza, the ICM also approved a ban on imports of poultry and poultry products
and other birds from infected countries in compliance with the World Institute
responsible for Livestock Health (OIE) recommendations.
ICM approved a 5-year
programme on Strengthening Institutions for Risk Management of Transboundary Animal
Diseases (TADs) In the SADC Region which aims at enhancing animal health through
improved capacity for detection, identification, monitoring and surveillance of
TADs in the region costing US$21.86 million which will be presented to the AfDB
in July 2006 for funding.
The ICM noted with satisfaction that some Member
States made considerable progress in developing National Strategies on Sustainable
Further, the ICM approved legal frame works to fast track
the development of the SADC Protocol on the Environment will regulate regional
cooperation on environmental trans boundary natural resource management.
ICM also approved the SADC Regional Biodiversity Strategy and urged the SADC Secretariat
to implement it as soon as possible as well as recognised Transfrontier Conservation
Areas (TFCAs) as viable wealth creation opportunities from biological resources
through the harmonisation of policies within the region within the frame work
of the SADC Protocol on Wildlife Conservation and Law Enforcement.
the priorities for this cluster which will form the basis of the 2007/2008 work
plan and budget of the FANR Directorate.
The media are key stakeholders
and frontliners in the road to regional development and integration and the over
230 million citizens of the region need to be informed constantly of developments
taking place foremost in our region and of the rest of the world. This can only
be successfully done with the support of the media.
I thank you
Vincent Hlongwane - 0823851169
Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa - 082 990 4853
of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152