OUTGOING chairperson of the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) King Mswati (III) says the regional economic bloc would soon set up a regional university to accelerate industrialisation and involvement of young people in development.
In his message on the occasion of Sadc Day which fell on August 17, Mswati urged the region to invest more in education, especially science and technology in order to graduate to a competitive knowledge-based economy.
“I am pleased to mention that the preparations for the establishment of the Sadc University of Transformation are progressing well as it is aimed at enhancing the human capital of the Sadc region in the areas of technical and vocational education and training, innovation and delivering graduates who are empowered with requisite skills for the industrial development,” he said.
Mswati also acknowledged challenges caused by drugs, hunger, political instability and poverty.
“The challenges of unemployment, especially among our youths in the region, needs to be tackled through a concerted effort from all sectors to empower them. The industrialisation process in Sadc should be inclusive to involve the youth as well as women so that they can benefit directly from the process of economic and technological transformation,” he said.
Sadc, according to Mswati, will continue to assist the people of Lesotho find lasting solutions to instability problems even in the aftermath of elections concluded recently.
“While our Sadc region continues to be peaceful and stable, on the social and economic front there have been few other potential issues that requires regional and national preventative and mitigation measures.
“These are food, water and energy insecurity, transnational drugs, human trafficking, smuggling, money laundering, cyber security and climate change and environmental degradation to mention just a few,” he said.
“In this regard, we will continue to strengthen the regional and national Early Warning Centres on the need to exchange information and data through secure communication infrastructure. Through this initiative Sadc will be able to respond quickly to any disaster as was observed in the management of the outbreak of the fall armyworm in the Sadc region.”