Robust energy and water infrastructure is crucial to the success of efforts by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to achieve rapid industrial development, Swazi Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini said on Tuesday.Officially opening a joint meeting of ministers responsible for energy and water in SADC, Dlamini said there is need for substantial investment in energy and water infrastructure to ensure rapid and inclusive industrialisation in the region.
“We know that faster industrialisation is the key to more rapid economic growth and greater prosperity in a sustainable manner and we are aware that without a sustainable development of energy and water infrastructure our development plans cannot be achieved,” he said.
SADC has since 2014 set its sight on transforming the region’s economies from trade in unprocessed natural resources to one where there is substantial value addition of raw materials and there is technology drive production capacity.
The ministers are reviewing the current status of SADC’s energy and water programmes, with a view to develop strategies to quicken the pace of implementation of projects.
The meeting will be followed by a two-day ministerial workshop and investors’ conference that kicks off on Wednesday in Mbabane to discuss energy infrastructure in SADC.
The workshop and conference will be attended by ministers and representatives of financial institutions, SADC’s international cooperating partners, private sector and regional energy bodies.