SADC planning entities discuss impact of Russia-Ukraine conflict
Friday, August 5, 2022 – The SADC National Planning Entities Platform, in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Subregional Office for Southern Africa (ECA-SRO-SA) on Thursday, August 4, 2022 held a virtual Dialogue on “The Macroeconomic Impact of Russia-Ukraine crisis on the SADC region. The seminar was an opportunity to discuss an upcoming study on the corresponding theme commissioned by SADC.
The Chair of the NPE Platform, Dr Thomas Munthali, serving as the Director General for the National Planning Commission of Malawi, observed the regional character of the impacts triggered by this crisis, and encouraging the countries to come together to jointly come up with solutions. He emphasized the importance of supporting regional value chains that will sustain the region’s economies when faced by such crises as the Ukraine-Russa conflict, by building the regional productive capacities in such areas as energy, transport infrastructure, ICT, cross-border infrastructure and the supportive financial systems. In the short-term, quality of expenditures by member countries will be key to lessen pressures on their fragile national budgets.
The presenter, Dr. Nicholas Charalambides, delivered a comprehensive overview of the impact of the ongoing crisis on the region, including on aspects such as prices and supply of key commodities, inflation and financial stability, transport, global growth and trade. Moreover, the presenter reviewed the different pillars of the RISDP to properly position the possible regional response within its framework.
The presentation was followed by a discussion session during which NPEs from Malawi, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Angola shared their experiences with regard to the most severe impact of the crisis, its interplay with the lurking impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the policy measures applied and envisaged to mitigate these impacts. In response, the Presenter and the Chair pointed at the need for the region to work together due to the striking similarity of impacts, calling for development of regional value chains, deepening regional capital markets and joint stance on debt relief negotiations, amongst others.
The SADC National Planning Entities Platform is a body bringing together the NPEs of the region, endorsed as a SADC entity in 2015, and revived in early 2022 thanks to the joint effort of the SADC Secretariat, ECA Subregional Office for Southern Africa and the co-Chairs of the Platform in its latest configuration – Malawi and Zambia.
The overall goal of the initiative is to strengthen the capacity of the National Planning Entities and to support them in pursuing the objectives of the regional and global development agendas.