REPRESENTATIVES from Lesotho’s private sector are set to take part in a Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) workshop scheduled for 22-24 August 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa to find ways to address challenges facing businesses in the region.
The SADC Private Sector Forum (SPSF) will also include representatives from member countries Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
It is supported by the International Labour Organisation.
Lesotho will be represented by the Association of Lesotho Employers and Business (ALEB) as a member of SPSF. ALEB Chief Executive Officer, Advocate Lindiwe Sephomolo and Advocate Relebohile Ntene from Matekane Group of Companies are set to attend the workshop.
According Adv Sephomolo, the purpose of the meeting is to review the current strategic plan and come up with a roadmap for the regional body for the better involvement of the private sector in improving the business climate and trade in the region.
“SPSF is a grouping of employers’ organisations from SADC countries whose aim is to foster a single and united voice in the region; both at the SADC Secretariat and the SADC structures,” she said.
“It provides a platform for national and regional business associations, representatives of national employers’ bodies as well as the private sector in harmonising and effectively implementing their advocacy agenda in so far as private sector friendly regional integration is concerned.”
Adv Sephomolo said the forum was meant to enable the stakeholders to speak with one voice in representing the regional private sector and maintain a strong representative body for business across SADC.
“The workshop will provide a forum for discussing global trends and key developments in regional integration. Moreover, it will discuss some of the changes that occurred or gained prominence in the region,” she said.
The developments included SADC’s revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan and new Industrialisation Strategy.
Adv Sephomolo said the Millennium Development Goals which have been replaced by the Sustainable Development Goals, African Union agenda for 2063, the Ouagadougou plus 10 plan of action, and the International Labour Conference agenda on Transition to Formality and Global Supply Chains would also be up for discussion.
She said other areas which affect the private sector in the region relate to the ratification and implementation of the international labour standards by the region’s governments.
“In particular, those standards relating to migrant workers and gender. The report from this workshop will form part of the overall review of the strategic development plan for SPSF and will contribute to the identification of priorities for development in the SADC region,” Adv Sephomolo added.