Investments in infrastructure and innovation are crucial drivers of economic growth and development, as outlined by SDG-9 of the 2030 Agenda. Innovation is absolutely key to African stability and growth in the coming decades, and this is not exception to the Southern Africa. The region needs to develop innovation capacity and take advantage of available resources and key sectors to become internationally competitive and ensure an inclusive and sustainable industrial development.
This session will explore what challenges SADC countries are facing in building technological capabilities and programs, and what opportunities can be sought to build on sectors where the region has comparative advantages, to absorb innovation and adapt it locally, and attract international investors.
The fast spread of digital technologies throughout the world is reshaping production processes and business models, with important implications for the economic diversification and structural transformation of countries. Digital technologies may boost the productivity of labour and capital and facilitate connections to global markets, yet they also present serious challenges, including the inclusiveness of development.
This session will discuss how SADC policymakers are designing, monitoring and adjusting, inter alia, infrastructural, regulatory and industrial policies, to maximize their contribution and participation in the global economy.
This session will explore the relevance of evidence-based industrial policy. It will offer an opportunity to introduce EQuIP and how public and private sector can work together towards the development of such toolkits for policymakers.
- Digital competitiveness of SADC countries
- The role of governments in governing and regulating the digital revolution
- The impact of digitalization on labour and capital markets
- Building digital infrastructure
- Building capacities of SMEs in the context of 4IR
- Implications of product digitization on GVCs/RVCs
SADC has initiated a process to foster the development of a number of prioritized regional value chains. The challenge now lies (a) in the harmonization of national policy and development interventions that ensure investment and technology uptake in the respective value chains and (b) to support the transition to a sustainable energy future under the overarching integrated mandates of the achievement of the SDGs and Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development (ISID) through the application of renewable energy for productive uses and the efficient consumption of energy and low-carbon technologies by and for the benefit of industry. This session will allow for exchange of ideas, best practices, and solutions, between participants.
The session will be organized in roundtables. Each table will represent one value chains cluster and participants will be given the opportunity to change table and share ideas and experiences about all value chain clusters:
1. Agri-processing: How can producers use sensors, robotics, blockchain, and artificial intelligence (AI) to foster production, improve plant breeding and crop-management practices? Will e-commerce be the game-changer in global trade for SADC?
2. Processing of Mineral Products: A digitally enabled global economy is likely to have a lower metal and mineral consumption intensity. How can SADC make use of new technologies such as 3D printing to remain competitive in the mining and metals industry?
3. Pharmaceuticals: The global pharmaceutical industry is learning how to utilize “Big Data”. How are SADC organizations collecting new and useful data, while also looking for opportunities to share it, entering the data service market?
The ‘Enhancing the Quality of Industrial Policies’ (EQuIP) toolbox, jointly developed by GIZ and UNIDO, offers a comprehensive set of training modules to support industrial policy practitioners to undertake a thorough industrial diagnosis, to design evidence-based strategies and context-appropriate policies for inclusive and sustainable industrial development.
Over the past three years, it has been deployed in numerous countries globally, including Cambodia, Ukraine, Vietnam, Myanmar, Western Balkans and Georgia. Currently, it is being used in various countries to consolidate and update their industrial policies. The toolbox can be accessed at: http://www.equip-project.org/
Introduction to industrial policy training in the region