SADC Industrialisation Week 2017 - Post Event Information

Working Group

SADC's infrastructure master plan - are we on track?

Posted by Janice Scheckter on 10 August 2017 7:15 AM SAST
Janice Scheckter photo

Mr Joseph Mthetwa, Senior Program Officier, Health and Pharmaceuticals. Moderator. 

Mr Joseph Mthetwa, Senior Program Officier, Health and Pharmaceuticals. 

The size of SADC as a region

15 member states that are considered equal because of their sovereignty. 

But how will SADC leverage new system to accelerate public section participation for driving priority areas of the SADC business plan with partners? 

But it's the role of governments to ensure that the policy is available. 

Some history to give perspective

* the protocol on health - law signed by all the SADC heads of state. What is listed is that they will work together in collaboration. Failure to adhere or deliberate withholding will lead to specific sanctions. 

* what are the issues in the pharma sector - people don't know the names of medications, it's a mystified area and we need to demystify it. 

* in 1999/2000 through GTZ there was proposed assistance from the Germans to provide warehousing for TB drugs. The program failed because it was discovered that a number of the countries did not have the necessary regulations, governance in place. 

* only from 2004 did we start working as a region. 

But the region was still in crisis around both communicable and non-communicable diseases. 

In line with the implementation of the Regional Indicative Strategic plan RISDP 2005 - 2019

V1 is available - focused on policy development 

V2 (2007 - 2013) focuses on industrialisation

Updated version 2015 - 2019 being launch today - and it's important that you see yourself in that plan. 

Focus on three areas:

* regional/ local production

* rational use of medicines

* pooled procurement

There are elements that we need to look at - cooperation between member states, practitioners, etc. 

Priority areas of the plan

  • Harmonising standard treatment guidelines and essential medicine lists
  • R&D production of generics
  • Strengthening of regulatory capacity
  • Strengthening supply chain 
  • Establishing a regional databank of African traditional medicines and medicinal plants
  • Developing and retaining competence human resources for the pharmaceutical programme
  • Facilitation trade in pharma within SADC
  • Promote operational research

Involvement of the private sector and other non-state actors

Need to understand and recognise the effect of economic dynamics that have generated some shift in the African Healthcare market. 

Private sector participation

Private sector investment systems are shifting from siloed support systems to mission-critical production systems that support efficient production, operation and decision-making

The private sector should embrace a system that focuses on opportunities across the SADC region to accelerate growth, profit and reinvestment. 

SADC Secretariat dedicated to helping customers including


  • Government
  • Public sector
    • financial services
    • energy
    • transportation
    • manufacturing
    • education and 
    • ISPs



Research funded by DIFD showed that various agencies are at different phases of development, but how do we coordinate the results and the efforts? The document I refer to was done at a global standard. Tools were identified to help member states in supply chain management. One of those tools in the SADC membership database. It is used in conjunction with the PPN. Member states could be sharing on compliance, pricing models around procurement, etc. The tool is powerful and one country showed a saving of over $2 million. In terms of improving supply chain management, if you look at procurement and tender management when information is shared around set ceiling pricing, this is of immediate value to others.  There is also the offer of technical support to countries. Those countries that had already established a common technical issue, we've seen Zambia assist South Africa, Zimbabwe assist Seychelles. In practice, governments have to take ownership of the implementation of the pharmaceutical business plan. Although there is an agreement between all countries, the practical implementation has not been put into practice. There has been much talk about harmonisation. After harmonisation countries should move towards convergence. 


This is a body of parliamentarians from the 15 member states. Formed in 1997 in Blantyre, Malawi by SADC heads of state. What continues to be noted by the body is that women and children remain the most affected by lack of access to medicine. We determined to adopt a human rights approach. When we speak to those directly involved in the provision of healthcare and medications, it is clear that donor funding is dwindling. We also resolved that we're going to commit to greater parliamentary actions including agenda 2063 and the SADC Protocol on health. It is clear that not all SADC countries have not reformed their laws


Wish to amplify a few issues raised by the HON. Dlamini. We have a paper on how to better understand intellectual property rights. Parliament does three things - law making, implementation and over sight. It is so important that parliamentarians get much closer to this agenda. We took note that there are a few countries that have harnessed the outcomes from the forum's recommendations. the challenge is that in SADC and in Africa we have a tendency to change the names of things rather than to track what we have realised. e.g. from RISPD to agenda 2063. We make these changes without understanding the lessons we have learnt. Regional integration needs to be questioned. Is SADC really committed to regional integration? Over the past many years there has been more talk than action around regional integration. So when we talk about the Pharmaceutical Business Plan - it is necessary for countries to pull together. There is a challenge for the region to move in unison. It's critical to bring to the fore the role of institutions including private sector, civil society etc. 


* critical questions raised

* important to discuss as a group 

* we are in a transition phase handing over the SADC move to South Africa

* many South Africans in the room

* encourage to use the SADC Secretariat

* those who were in Swaziland last year, have seen how private sector issues can reach the ears of ministers and those are often raised in fora such as this one

Questions raised from the floor: 

1. Why is the parliamentary forum not a Parliament that wields power?

Response: Better that it remains a forum for now. One of the reasons is executive dominance. If we look at the East Africa Legislative Assembly, a head of state can veto the law. This means that the role of the legislature remains behind the role of the executive. It is these kinds of institutional arrangements that we need to interrogate. But all is not lost and there are ways to continue to interrogate. E.g. the HON.Dlamini can ask the relevant minister for delivery. 

It is true that for an organisation to exist and survive, it needs to have scorecards and results. We need to identify where we place the forum as it's an important institute. 

2. Environmental issues which should be centrally managed

Response. SADC does prescribe to the Stockholm convention. We at SADC are also a member of a number of environmental programs, The issue of manufacture, we know that there are countries that question whether they are able to handle the environmental impact. We will as SADC adhere to environmental issues. 

3. The regional scorecard is poor. EU as an example set standards and did not simply take everyone in. Does regional integration work from everyone. 

4. Why do we simply rename things e.g. from the RISDP to Agenda 2063? and have we assessed progress of the earlier versions. 

Response: Because there was a revision, we have not assessed progress but will be assessed in 2019. 

Question from the floor and support from the program director

5. Suggestion - wouldn't it be good to ensure that there is the ability to follow up and track progress by member states. e.g. where the Parliament/forum can follow up with the minister. 

Program director: Is this something we could insert into the declaration? 

6. The private sector will lead industrialisation 4.0. 

Response. We need to ensure that the private sector does not take over everything. But we are agreeing that they are not given enough info and don't know how to engage. But SADC is for all. The challenge is how we engage. 

There was a retreat a short while ago asking what kind of SADC we want. There are many changes, opportunities etc. The summit will only deliberate on what is presented to them. But let's have confidence is the change that is happening. 

JM: We hope as a Secretariat to see the private sector sharing and engaging. We don't want to 'watch over the fence'. This is about all of us.

industrialisation, innovation, ip, pharmaceuticals, r&d, sadc

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