By Christeter Macha-Chizhyuka in Windhoek, Namibia

Southern African Development Community (SADC) says the region needs to catch up with the rest of the world concerning the disruptive reality of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

SADC Executive Secretary, Stergomena Lawrence Tax said schools, training institutions, workplaces and factories will need to urgently transform in order to adapt to the new phenomenon.

Dr. Tax stated that while there has been initiatives at sectorial level the region needs to have an integrated strategy in order to do more.

Dr. Tax was speaking at the Safari conference centre in Windhoek today during the official opening of the 38th Ordinary Southern African Development Community(SADC) Summit of Heads of State and Government whose theme is “Promoting Infrastructure Development and Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development’’

She called upon the member states to double their efforts in order for the region to be a competent participant in the digital economy.

Dr. Tax said the secretariat will endeavor to mainstream elements of the fourth Industrial Revolution in the relevant programmes.

Meanwhile, Dr. Tax said 2017/2018 marked the third year of implementation of the Revised Indicative Strategic Development Plan(RISDP) 2015-2020.

She therefore says SADC continued to prioritise peace and security, industrialization and infrastructure development saying significant progress was made in various areas during the year.

On the economic front, Dr. Tax said the region has continued to pursue policies and programmes towards enhancing economic performance.

President Lungu was among the ten SADC Heads of State who attended the official opening of the summit.

The African Union(AU) Chairperson, Paul Kagame who is also Republic of Rwanda President also addressed the delegates.

Others in attendance were former Presidents of Mozambique, Joaquim Chisano and Namibia’s Sam Nujoma and Hifikepunye Pohamba.

Meanwhile, Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) staffer Emmah Nakapizye scooped the 2018 SADC media award in the photography category.

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