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By BRIAN HATYOKA

SOUTHERN Africa Development Community (SADC) member states are working on modalities for the establishment of a single currency unit for the region by 2018, deputy executive secretary, Joao Caholo, has said.

Mr Caholo said that SADC had already created a Macroeconomic Surveillance and Performance Unit at the secretariat in Botswana to facilitate for among other things, the creation of a monetary union.Speaking in an interview in Lusaka over the weekend, Mr Caholo said that SADC member states were also working on reducing the inflation levels for the SADC region to single digit.

He said the committee of central banks was monitoring the region’s direction towards single digit inflation. Meanwhile, SADC director of infrastructure development, Remmy Makumbe, has said that the provision of quality infrastructure is key to sustaining growth in trade and business in the Southern African region. sadcmap.jpg

Mr Makumbe who is based at the SADC secretariat in Botswana said that improved infrastructure was important to facilitate the handling of imports and exports among member states.

Speaking in Lusaka when he featured on ZNBC TV’s SADC special program earlier in the week, Mr Makumbe said that the challenge that SADC member states faced was to attract additional investments to support infrastructure development.

“Infrastructure development is one of the key challenges that we have in the region and we are putting up measures to attract investment in this area,” he said.Mr Makumbe said that there was need to strengthen the Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the provision of infrastructure. “PPP is key to infrastructure development hence we are encouraging a lot of players to participate in the sector,” he said.He noted that Zambia was one such country in the region that had put up measures to boost infrastructure development and cited the development of the Kafue Lower Hydro power plant as one of the facilities aimed at mitigating the impact.

Mr Makumbe said that SADC member states were developing a framework that would support infrastructure development in various sectors of the economies.

At the same meeting, Transport and Communications Permanent Secretary, Peter Tembo, said that Zambia would ensure the implementation of SADC programmes.

Retired Brigadier General Tembo also said that Zambia had many trading partners by the fact that the country was landlocked. “The fact that Zambia is a landlocked country is a blessing to us because some countries have fewer neighbors hence they have fewer trading partners,” he said.

Zambia is hosting the SADC Heads of States and Government Summit in Lusaka this week.

http://www.times.co.zm/news/viewnews.cgi?category=11&id=1186984762