Southern African Business Forum (SABF)
The Southern African Business Forum (SABF), would like to notify you of the upcoming Working Groups Launch Meeting on Wednesday 13 April 2016 from 09h00 - 17h00, at the The Rosebank Hotel Crowne Plaza located at the corner of Tyrwhitt & Sturdee Avenues in Rosebank, Johannesburg.
About the Southern Africa Business Forum
The role of the business community in Southern African regional trade, investment and industrial policy formulation is crucial since private sector players are implementers, and often the intended beneficiaries of such policies. There has been an increased call from governments and development agencies for private sector to play a greater role in the economic and social development of Africa in order to ensure long term sustainability and growth. When the business community is engaged early on in business projects, it is much more likely that there will be buy-in from key stakeholders and that the design of processes can have a real impact on regional economic integration in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).
About the Working Groups Launch Meeting
To give momentum to public-private dialogue in SADC, the inaugural Southern African Business Forum Meeting was hosted by the Business Council of Southern Africa, the NEPAD Business Foundation and Business Botswana (formerly BOCCIM) from 10 - 11 August 2015, in Gaborone, Botswana.
One of the outcomes of the inaugural SABF Annual Meeting is the Savuti Declaration, which covers the key messages that emerged from the discussions that took place during the Forum and at a facilitated dialogue on promoting socio-economic cohesion. In the Savuti Declaration, the private sector of the region calls for implementation of SADC's extensive plans for regional integration, industrialisation and infrastructure development. In particular, action is required in the focus areas of industrialisation; movement of goods, services and business people; a railway development master plan; an enhanced mechanism for dealing with non-tariff barriers; and access to energy and water.
The request from the private sector has resulted in the formal establishment of the Southern Africa Business Forum (SABF), which has been endorsed by the SADC Secretariat. The SABF will now be the formalised structure for private engagement and partnership with SADC to enhance the private sector's role in achieving regional integration through cross border investment and trade. To facilitate dialogue and engagement between the SADC Secretariat and SADC Member States on the one hand, and the private sector doing business in the region on the other, working groups aligned with the Savuti Declaration focus areas have been established. These six working groups will consist of regional private sector representatives and relevant SADC officials with the aim of developing potential solutions to the challenges highlighted to doing business in the region, as well as jointly shaping projects which can unlock the region's socio-economic potential.
The six working groups:
- Industrialisation & Regional Value Chains;
- Movement of Services & Skills;
- Trade Facilitation;
- Transport Corridors;
- Energy Sector; and
- Water Sector.