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Research Report

INDUSTRIAL POLICY COOPERATION IN SOUTHERN AFRICA:: EXPLORING THE OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES

Brendan Vickers
Dimpho Motsamai
Copyright Date: Dec. 1, 2011
Pages: 17
OPEN ACCESS
https://www.jstor.org/stable/resrep07761

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. 1-2)
  2. (pp. 3-4)
  3. (pp. 5-6)

    Industrial policy co-operation in the southern African region has been under much discussion in recent months, especially after the release of the SADC industrial policy draft document in 2009, circulated for inputs from Member States and other stakeholders. Although the draft industrial policy plan sets out a series of sensible guiding principles and strategies, it has been widely critiqued for its poor consideration of the contextual specificities of the region. Concerns raised about the draft report include its bias towards beneficiation without consideration of economic polarisation; its insufficient response to competitiveness issues; its failure to factor in challenges concerning intra-...

  4. (pp. 7-8)

    In his opening remarks, Dr Siphamandla Zondi, the Director of the IGD, highlighted the importance of industrial policy co-operation in the SADC region. He reflected on a research report published by the South Centre on industrialisation and industrial policy in Africa which assessed the extent to which industrialisation and industrial policy co-operation is actually being pursued. Drawing from that report, Dr Zondi stressed the critical role of industrialisation for the region’s development, noting that industrial production is associated with job creation and skills development; but that it is equally important to improve trade facilitation and address the spatial gaps across...

  5. (pp. 8-10)

    The thematic discussion on the various challenges of industrialisation covered issues like deficits in the implementation of trade theory and policy, the structure and characteristics of southern African economies, the pre-requisites for export-driven growth, factors affecting the region’s competitiveness and the impact of the global financial crisis on the region’s economies. These challenges have remained the same since the 1960s.

    The following were highlighted as inhibiting the transformation of African economies and their ability to improve industrialisation capacity, namely: the structural disarticulation of African economies, primarily the lop-sided patterns of production, consumption and trade; sluggish growth, weak to poor manufacturing...

  6. (pp. 10-11)

    The absence of coherence between national industrial policies, the regional industrialisation framework and regional integration objectives were noted as the main factors impeding regional industrialisation. Three issues concerning the practicability for mutual reinforcement of regional and national policies were raised. The first was that regional integration was often not a central thrust of national industrial policy in several SADC countries. Moreover, the policies in need of alignment and harmonisation have to be defined to ensure the development of coherent regional markets.

    The second issue related to developing a framework guiding policy harmonisation. In this respect, the consensus of relevant stakeholders...

  7. (pp. 11-13)

    This thematic discussion reflected on the different perspectives on regional industrialisation and the scope for regional industrial policy, including the definition and role of the term ‘industrial policy’ in domestic economies. As a point of departure, the motivations for a regional industrial policy in SADC, alongside individual small state concerns regarding economic polarisation were discussed. The experiences of the BLNS countries in SACU integration arrangements were briefly outlined. It was argued that regional integration will indeed result in an extension of the current polarisation inherent in the trading relationship between small and large economies if the issue of economic polarisation...

  8. (pp. 13-16)

    The panel discussion covered the following themes:

    1. Opportunities for improving the diversification of African countries;

    2. Resource-based industrialisation in SADC;

    3. Opportunities and challenges for future SADC industrialisation; and

    4. Lessons from Botswana’s challenges toward industrialisation.

    1. The potential to industrialise the mining sector such that it is a consistent engine of economic growth and development is hampered by infrastructure underdevelopment; high political and economic risks for investors; and uncertain guarantees on security of tenure due to the insecure rule of law.

    2. The re-focus on improving agriculture in the last five years enables countries to explore: new value-chain approaches to improve market access and...