Better equipping personnel relevant for delivery of developmental mandate - Mr. Msibi: Page 4 of 9

  1. SME Bank assumed Chairmanship of the working group as part of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The United Nation's 193 member countries adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a roadmap to end poverty and hunger, fight inequality over the next 15 years and SME Development is at the center of this call to action.  


  1. SME Development can serve as a powerful tool to end poverty and hunger through the creation of self-employment opportunities for owner enterprise managers and employment of others. SMEs serve as the engine for economic growth in most emerging economies and developing nations hence the specific focus on this sector by the SADC DFI Network.


  1. The African Development Bank has reported that although the entire continent has experienced consistent growth over the past decade with some countries achieving close to double digit economic growth, 120 million Africans still remain out of work especially the youth. A total of 42% of the population in Africa still live below the poverty line of USD $1.00 a day, and 1 in 4 people in Sub Saharan Africa remain undernourished with no access to clean water and sanitation. Inequality is also very high with 6 out of 10 countries being most poverty stricken and unequal in Africa largely affecting women and the youth. Our national economies remain highly polarized as a result of the big gap between the poor and the wealthy segments of our society. The AfDB also suggests that making growth inclusive will require broadening access to economic opportunities for more people at grassroots level.   SME Development immediately comes to mind as you think about these challenges.


  1. Within SADC our leaders have promulgated the Finance & Investment Protocol (FIP) in line with its motto of “Towards a common future”.  SME Financing is also an integral element of this instrument. SADC is eager to promote industrialization throughout the region. 


  1. One of the milestone initiatives of the SADC Economic