Digital Forum 2020: Regional Industrial Development

Due to COVID-19 the format for the annual TIPS Forum will be changing. The TIPS Forum 2020 on Regional Industrial Development will be held as digital sessions, and in two parts:

Part 1

Day 1: 28 July 2020
10:00 – 10:15 Welcome
10:15 – 10:30 Keynote address
10:30 – 11:30 Session 1: Regional industrial development in the context of COVID-19
11:40 – 12:55 Session 2: Trade and reform in Africa

Day 2: 29 July 2020
10:00 - 11:15 Session 3: Inclusive industrial development
11:30 - 12:45 Session 4: Strengthening and building regional value chain


Part 2

Day 3: 4 August 2020
10:00 – 11:15 Session 5: Sustainable regional industrial development
11:30 - 12:45 Session 6: Low-carbon and inclusive industrial development

Day 4: 5 August 2020
10:00 - 11:15 Session 7: Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and industrial development, theory, policy and practice
11:30 - 12:45 Session 8: Trade, protectionism and technological upgrading


This decision has been taken by TIPS in consultation with our partners, the DST/NRF South African Research Chair in Industrial Development at the University of Johannesburg, the United Nations University for Development Economics Research programme on Southern Africa – Towards Inclusive Economic Development, and the South African Department of Trade, Industry and Competition.

We look forward to reaching a much broader audience through the digital platform, and hope you will be joining us.

The context for the conference

With renewed recognition on the importance of building industrial capacity in developing countries, as well as having industrial policy, industrial development across the SADC region has been identified as a central path towards accelerated and sustained economic development. In the context of the economic impact of COVID-19, what does a sustained regional industrialisation trajectory look like?

Collectively, the SADC region is relatively under-industrialised. In more than half of the member countries, the manufacturing sector’s contribution to GDP is less than 10 per cent and in some cases lower than 5 per cent. In only one of the 15 SADC Member States has the ratio of manufacturing value added to GDP risen above 20 percent.

The economic disparity between South Africa and its neighbouring countries in SADC is stark; South Africa’s GDP per capita is five to seven times that of the rest of SADC, which is unusually large for a regional centre. Understanding industrial development in the Southern African region therefore requires an approach that looks at the role of the lead economy and the opportunities for smaller economies to increase their productive capacity and exports to South Africa.

The aim of the conference is to deepen the understanding of a cross section of issues, and the related opportunities and challenges.

NOTE: If you already registered earlier for the physical 2020 Forum event, please re-register for the digital 2020 Forum event.

The Forum, due to be held in May in Johannesburg, has been postponed until later this year. The unfolding COVID-19 pandemic means we have to adapt the way we work, and it is not possible to hold a public forum  at this time. A different format and approach is being considered should the rescheduled event need to be in a digital form. 


Download programme or read online

Download press release or read online: Regional industrial development in SADC the central focus of high-level conference

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