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Grand Finale Marks Success of SADC’s Support towards Industrialisation and Productive Sectors Programme

The grand finale of the Support towards Industrialisation and the Productive Sectors (SIPS) Programme, held at the Avani Hotel in Gaborone, Botswana, commemorated a significant milestone in regional economic integration and industrialisation within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

Funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union (EU) with a budget exceeding 20 million euros, the SIPS Programme aimed to bolster self-sustaining economies, diminish import reliance, and fortify regional resilience, with a special focus on the agro-processing and pharmaceutical sectors in the SADC region.

The programme, a collaborative effort between SADC, the German Government, and the EU, sought to enhance private sector involvement in crucial value chains by addressing policy, regulatory, and business environment constraints. 

Key sectors targeted included leather, medical, and pharmaceutical industries, aligning with the objectives outlined in the SADC Regional Industrialisation Strategy 2015-2063 and the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan 2020-2030.

Notably, the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic prompted swift action from the SIPS Programme. The inclusion of a Covid-19 Medical and Pharmaceutical Products (CMPP) value chain allowed for the implementation of innovative manufacturing projects to produce essential medical and pharmaceutical supplies, responding directly to the crisis.

The German Ambassador to Botswana, Margit Hellwig-Bötte, lauded the programme’s response to the pandemic, highlighting its tangible impact in supporting regional companies to manufacture critical supplies. 

She also celebrated the programme’s achievements, including job creation, extensive training initiatives, and dissemination of vital information on financing options.

Ambassador Petra Pereyra, Head of the European Union Delegation to Botswana and SADC, commended the programme’s role in fostering regional integration and announced the launch of a new SADC programme focused on African Trade and Business Market Access, with a substantial allocation of €35 million.

Mr. Dhunraj Kassee, Director of Industrial Development & Trade at SADC, reflected on the programme’s successes despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. 

He highlighted its role in strengthening regional value chains and fostering public-private sector collaboration, setting the stage for sustained industrialisation and regional cooperation in the SADC region.

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