Commerce, Trade and Industry Permanent Secretary (PS), Kayula Siame says it will be difficult for Zambia and Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region to attain the desired sustainable development without involving the youths.
And Ms Siame said the theme for the just ended 38th Ordinary-SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government, “Promoting Infrastructure Development and Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development’’ is well timed especially that her Ministry has mainstreamed youth empowerment in a number of programmes.
Ms Kayula called on youths in the country to take advantage of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area by engaging in meaningful entrepreneurship activities.
She revealed that the country will be holding the World Expo Development Forum dedicated for youths at which young people will be encouraged to see an Africa with an open market.
And Ms Siame stated that Zambia domesticated the regional strategy following the launch of the 37th SADC summit theme in terms of industrialization.
She explained that following the approved national industrial policy in February, Zambia has been working with the SADC Secretariat to look at three main areas of value chain, mineral beneficiation, agro processing and pharmaceuticals.
Ms Kayula added that the SADC Secretariat hired a consultant to work with member states to look at the three areas saying Zambia identified under agro processing the leather and soya value chain in its bid to realise the theme of industrialization and value chain.
The Commerce, Trade and Industry PS said the whole industrialization is what regional integration is all about.
Ms Siame noted that even though SADC is talking about promoting infrastructure development and youth empowerment for sustainable development the theme is still linked to industrialization.
She revealed that Zambia will in October be having an industrial development where work done on the regional value chains will be reviewed.
Meanwhile, Ms Siame says her Ministry is excited that Zambia has taken up the Chairmanship of the Troika Organ on Politics, Defence and Security.
She said the development will boost the confidence of the region in Zambia and hence creating a conducive business environment.
The 37th SADC Summit held in 2017 centred on how best the region would spur industrial growth and development through integration of countries into global and regional value chains and partnering with the private sector.
The theme for this year’s 38th summit was “Promoting Infrastructure Development and Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development’’ which is a tapping into the last years.
This builds on the focus of the past four SADC summits that looked at how the region can attain industrial development.