Session 4: Market integration and trade
Industrial development concerns have now become a priority focus in Africa. This is, in some measure, prompted by developments in commodities sectors, where the need for beneficiation of minerals and value addition of the continent's natural resources is enjoying priority focus. There is also recognition that a traditional trade and integration agenda that focuses predominantly on border issues to enhance market access, is not addressing Africa's fundamental challenges of lack of industrial capacity and diversity. In short, the capacity to produce tradeables competitively and the policy mix that will enhance this capacity, are very much occupying the minds of policymakers. The adoption of the Action Plan for Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa (AIDA) by the 10th African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government in January 2008, is a continental policy response to these challenges. This paper focuses
on the regional aspects of industrial development and specifically, the role of the Southern African Development Community's (SADC) market integation agenda in supporting regional industrial development.