Honourable O.K Matambo, Minister of Finance and Development Planning officially opened the DFRC's new offices: Page 2 of 5

  1. long - term financial resources. This presupposes the existence of an efficient and effective financial sector to intermediate resources from savings to investment and thereby facilitating the economic growth of other sectors.

 

  1. Director of ceremony , our financial sectors, and indeed our economies, in Southern Africa are at various stages of development.  A common characteristic though has been the persistence of market gaps in availing long-term financial resources, with commercial banks providing predominantly short- to- medium term funds. It was the recognition and the need to close these gaps by governments that largely spurred the establishment of the development finance institutions as we know them today. The DFIs were mandated to provide financial support across various sectors of our economies within the framework of national development plans. Thus, since the 1970s, the DFIs have, and continue to be recognised as key development agents and catalysts in our economies.

 

  1. The pursuit of regional economic integration and its ultimate goals of sustainable growth, employment creation and poverty alleviation under the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) brought about a regional perspective to the role of national DFIs. The SADC Protocol on Finance and Investment, the blueprint for financial sector liberalisation and integration, clearly defines the role of DFIs within the region.

 

  1. The Finance and Investment Protocol recognises the establishment of a SADC DFI Network and its secretariat in terms of the SADC Development Finance Resource Centre. Consequently, the Network was established in 2000 while the DFRC commenced operations in July 2003. Presently, I am informed that the Network has a membership of 36 DFIs across SADC Member States, with mandates covering various economic sectors – infrastructure, industry, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), housing, and agriculture, among others.

 

  1. The Finance and Investment Protocol highlights the primary