UNECA: Committee outlines key issues to tackle poverty, boost trade, investments


The 29th edition of the inter-governmental Committee of Senior Official and Expert (ICSOE) of Southern Africa held in Gaborone has made key recommendations to tackle poverty, create jobs and accelerate trade promotion and development.

Among the recommendations, included strengthening the real sector for sustainable and resilient economic growth and employment creation.

This is according to the outcome statement of the Gaborone meeting released by the United Nations Economic commission for Africa (UNECA), which outlined various recommendations that governments needed to implement in Southern Africa.

Read more: Southern Africa experts meet in Gaborone, discusses pathways to implement regional integration, tackle poverty

The experts further highlighted the need to leverage on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) for poverty and inequality.

Key to this was accelerating trade promotion through full implementation of Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Free Trade Area as a basis for the execution of AfCFTA agreement.

Experts also stated the need to effectively harness technology and innovation for private sector and value-chain development in the context of the AfCFTA.

On strengthening the real sector for stable macroeconomy, sustainable, resilient and inclusive economic growth and employment creation, member States should focus its attention to promoting the resilience and inclusivity of the mainstay sub sectors of agriculture, manufacturing and tourism through values addition.

In addition, the regional value chains and intra-regional trade developments.

Resilient agricultural methods would include irrigation mechanization and operationalization of the regional food reserve pool.

The low hanging fruit in building mining resilience includes supporting the artisanal miners and value addition to minerals before exports.

Tourism would greatly benefit from improvement in the supporting infrastructure and adoption of tourism visas supportive of smooth regional tourism.

The experts also highlighted on the need to nurture Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) which included building their capacities and competitiveness, leveraging science, technology and innovation for green industrialization and economic growth and taking advantage of regional, continental and global trade agreements for industrialization.

There was an urgent need to address the severe electricity outages and infrastructure deficits which undermine competitiveness;

Further to this was the need for member state to ensure that the austerity measures aimed at reducing public debt do not compromise spending on key social and economic areas.

Experts added that the fight against inflation should continue, safeguard the growth of economic sectors such as MSMEs that would otherwise suffer from high interest rates.

The ICSOE is supported by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

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