ECA Southern Africa Regional office launches the UN Development Account Funded Project

Lusaka, Zambia, 17 June 2020 (ECA, UNCTAD, UNIDO, UNCTs & UNRCs) – ECA Sub-Regional office for Southern Africa (SRO-SA) organized a virtual partners’ meeting on 17th June 2020 to commence the implementation of the United Nations Development Account 12th Tranche Project (UNDA).

The event brought together collaborating partners including:  the African Union Southern Africa Regional Office (AU-SARO), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the United Nations Conference on Trade Development (UNCTAD) and United Nations Resident Coordinators offices in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The meeting was officially opened by the SRO-SA Officer in Charge, Sizo Mhlanga who outlined the project context as being guided by the SADC Industrialization Strategy and the COMESA Industrial Policy which are both anchored on agenda 2030 and the African Union 2063 agenda to develop, “a prosperous Africa based on inclusive and sustainable growth to transform Africa through beneficiation of natural resources, manufacturing, industrialization and value addition” he emphasized.

He further explained that SRO-SA was awarded funding through the UNDA 12th Tranche to implement a project entitled Promotion and Implementation of regional and national industrialization policies for inclusive and sustainable development in Southern Africa to support the alignment of national industrialization strategies to the regional architecture and develop implementation plans for the policies. He called on close collaboration of all partners to ensure the success of the UNDA 12th Tranche Project.

Oliver Maponga, ECA Economic Affairs Officer, presented the project and meeting objectives. According to him this project aims to strengthen regional and national capacities in the promotion and implementation of inclusive industrialization policies in Southern Africa.  He explained that the project, covering the Southern African region will be implemented from January 2020 to June 2023 and will focus on three countries but will benefit all eleven member States that are served by SRO-SA.

He invited the meeting to discuss the project implementation plan and to explore the expected roles of collaborating partners.

Both SADC and COMESA welcomed the project as a complement of their work in the sub-region.        Dr. Johansein Rutaihwa, Senior Programme Officer Industrialization and Competitiveness, shared that SADC is working with countries in the region such as Eswatini, Lesotho, Zambia and Zimbabwe to review their industrial policies and ratify the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). Innocent Makwiramiti, Senior Private Sector Development Officer, from COMESA added that, they developed a concept note on green industrialization in three of the focus countries where the project is going to be implemented. He proposed that, this be part of the capacity building solution.

Miranda Lutempo, Senior Policy Officer, AU-SARO considered this innovative project as a building block to the work of the Africa Union Commission who have developed several frameworks in line with SADC and COMESA to ensure harmonization of continental and regional industrialization strategies. “We need to work towards harmonization of all industrial policies if we want to attain the objective of this project”. She pointed out.

As part of the UN family collaboration, UNIDO and UNCTAD confirmed their commitment to offer technical support to regional member States in the development of harmonized natural-resources-based industrialization policies. Khaled El Mekwad, UNIDO Regional Representative for Southern Africa applauded the idea of developing regional value chains as drivers of economic transformation in the region. “The challenge we are facing is that most countries are competing for the same markets, there is need to lessen imports of goods and promote local production”. He said.

Representatives from the UN system from the three beneficiary countries Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe concurred that the project had come at an opportune time to strengthen capacities of member States to develop and implement industrialization policies.

All participants agreed on the importance of according more resources to capacity building and active participation of the private sector and micro, small and medium scale enterprises to help member States address the gaps between the national and regional industrialization frameworks.


Issued by:

The Sub-Regional Office for Southern Africa

UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)

P.O. Box 30647, Lusaka, Zambia.


Contact for more information

Lavender Degre
Communication Officer
Tel: (260)966797779