The challenges of industrialisation and infrastructure development in SADC and the continent

AISA hosted a seminar titled The challenges of industrialization in SADC and the continent on 30 March 2011, led by Ms Yazini April (AISA Research Specialist), who presented on Industrialisation in Africa vs. Asia: In the case of Association of South East Asian Nations and Vietnam Industrial growth. She focused on the importance of regional integration as a key component of economic growth and development. An examination of Asia’s economic development revealed the potential of regional and continental bodies in the economic growth and development of countries and as such, pointed towards a model that Africa can follow. The second presentation was on The role of infrastructure on economic development in Southern Africa, by Mr George Lwanda, who is a Project Economist at the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA). He described the work of DBSA in Southern Africa and the role the bank plays in the economic development of the region. He then focused on infrastructure and regional integration within SADC. He pointed out that the problem with regional integration was that, we are asking politicians to give up their power. The presentations stimulated good discussions related to Africa’s industrial development. Officials from the Japanese and Chinese embassies who are well versed in the Asian models of economic growth and development, posed questions on how Africa would apply these models; whilst other queries covered issues such as the obstacles to regional integration, especially national sovereignty, governance and resources.

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