SA’s government initiative of transforming the country’s economy into a globally competitive industrial economy is about to become a reality.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ) have joined forces to sign a memorandum of understanding to tackle three major challenges South Africa currently faces: poverty, inequality, and unemployment.

The Department of Trade, Industry commissioned the MMSEZ project to accelerate sustainable job creation, economic growth, and development in the region.  

UNDP will be providing technical and expertise support to MMSEZ, which includes capacity building and skills development, research and innovation, and solutions for sustainable development


“The partnership is anchored by the ambition to accelerate progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a collection of 17 interlinked goals designed to be a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all’, the two parties will deliver a portfolio of interventions focusing on advancing the above areas,” said a statement. 

The collaboration will facilitate MMSEZ’s initiatives, such as the acceleration of the upcoming smart city, that will leverage the existing skills, talent, and resources to benefit local people. Furthermore, the partnership will identify and pilot affordable and clean energy solutions, prevent deforestation and improve knowledge on environmental best practices. The collaboration will also support early-stage businesses and skills development within the MMSEZ locality.

“This collaboration supports the sustainability of the Special Economic Zone for the prosperity of Musina-Makhado local communities. We aim to exercise our convening power to bring in all the key and relevant actors to help advance MMSEZ’s mandate through promoting shared prosperity, environmental sustainability, social advancement, and innovation,” said Dr. Ayodele Odusola, Resident Representative for UNDP South Africa. 

MMSEZ CEO Lehlogonolo Masoga says, “The MOU between UNDP and MMSEZ represents a significant milestone in creating a framework for collaboration and the development of an annual work plan that will put into effect activities and resources in our endeavours in clean energy, sustainable economic growth through skills development and enterprise development, amongst others.”

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