The Southern Africa multi-stakeholder regional dialogue has today opened in Johannesburg, South Africa with a call for governments to devise ways of mitigating the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the marginalised.
Opening the meeting, Southern Africa Trust programme coordinator on economic policy development programmes Shamiso Chigorimbo said the meeting aims to discuss the potential long-term effects of Covid-19 on the key economic activities, discuss key policy issues in relation to the regional economic recovery among others.
Making his presentation, Gabriel Pollen from the University of Zambia cited the need for governments to increase funding towards social protection initiatives to mitigate challenges faced by the poor community exacerbated by the pandemic.
Pollen further called for the need to formulate coordinated policies particularly on trade and the transport sector to ensure the continuation of cross-border trade even during a pandemic.
Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network regional coordinating committee member ,Joy Mabenge, called on Sadc member states to increase funding in the health sector and adhere to the Abuja declaration where leaders pledged to commit 15 percent of the national budget to the health sector.
About 30 representatives from various sectors and organisations from Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) and beyond are attending the two-day conference taking place under the theme” ‘Are we building back better towards an economic recovery?’