For the fourth consecutive year, the European Union (EU) is actively participating in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Industrialisation Week (SIW) currently taking place in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
The EU is actively participated in this 2019 SIW, with representatives from the EU Delegation to Tanzania, the EU Delegation to Botswana and SADC and the European Commission's Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO).. Our colleague Kay Parplies, Head of Unit DEVCO C3, presented the EU External Investment Plan, and interesting follow-up questions enriched the discussion of the plenary session on Financing Opportunities. Similarly, the session on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) Development provided an opening to discuss how the business environment can contribute to the incorporation of the informal sector to the economy.
Furthermore, the EU Support to the SADC Investments and Business Environment (SIBE) Programme was announced during the event. With a budget of EUR 14 million, SIBE will support an enabling investment policy framework across SADC Member States, enhancing the integration of financial markets and supporting better financial inclusion in the region.
The EU support to SADC has mostly being focused on promoting regional economic and political integration and infrastructural support. Since the 2000s, the EU has contributed more than EUR 415 million to advance the regional integration agenda in Southern Africa. Under the 11th EDF the EU has adopted a more integrated approach and supporting the wider SADC regional integration agenda, including in the areas of economic integration, citizen security and democratic governance, climate change and natural resources management,. The EU financial contribution to the regional integration process in Southern Africa amounts to EUR 153 million for the period 2014-2020.