The 25th ICSOE of Southern Africa Concludes with a Commitment to Boost MSMEs

Ezulwini, Eswatini, 10 September 20 (ECA, MCIT) – The Intergovernmental Committee of Senior Officials and Experts (ICSOE) Meeting of Southern Africa ends today with a strong commitment from all stakeholders to boost the role of MSMEs in industrialisation.

The 25th Session of the Inter-Governmental Committee of Senior Officials and Experts (ICSOE) of Southern Africa was hosted by the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini in Ezulwini from the 10th -  13th of September 2019 on the theme: ‘Strategies and policies for the integration of micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) in the industrialization process in Southern Africa. The delegates elected the Kingdom of Eswatini as Chairperson of the Bureau of the 25th ICSOE, Lesotho as Vice Chairperson and Malawi as Rapporteur.

In his closing remarks the ECA-SA Director, Said Adejumobi applauded the role of the Government of Eswatini in making this meeting a success. He pointed out the high-level representation to 25th ICSOE, which was the participation of the Honourable Prime Minister, His Excellency, Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini, UN Resident Coordinator in Eswatini, Ms. Nathalie Ndongo-Seh, Chair of the 24th Bureau of the ICSOE, Mrs. Bibi Fatmwa Abdool Raman Ahmed (Mauritius), the Executive Secretary of SADC, H.E Dr Stergomena Lawrence-Tax and the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Senator Manqoba Khumalo. Also present were Permanent Secretaries and senior Government Officials from SADC member States, representatives of SADC and COMESA Secretariats, representatives from private sector, civil society organisations, academic and research institutions, professional organisations, the UN family and from other ECA Divisions.

In addition to reviewing economic conditions in the region as well as the work of ECA in Southern Africa, the meeting deliberated on: Strategies and policies for the integration of micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) in the industrialization process in Southern Africa; Harmonization of regional industrialization strategies and policies in Southern Africa and on the Implementation of Regional and International Agendas and other Special Initiatives focusing on the AFCFTA.

ECA launched some of its flagship knowledge products during the meeting and urged stakeholders to utilize these documents as a basis for evidence-based decision-making and policy and strategy formulation. The products were: Eswatini 2018 Country Profile (STEPS), 2019 Economic Report on Africa, Assessing Regional Integration in Africa, 2019 and Africa Sustainable Development Report, 2018.

In his closing remarks, the Director of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Mr. Mluleki Dlamini thanked ECA and applauded their efforts in organising the meeting. The meeting recommended that ECA should strengthen collaboration with regional economic communities in implementing its annual work programme, continue working closely with member States and other stakeholders to facilitate implementation of the recommendations of the 25th ICSOE and commence discussions with the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho on the theme and logistics for the 26th ICSOE.


Issued by:

The Sub-Regional Office for Southern Africa

UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)

P.O. Box 30647, Lusaka, Zambia.


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