Sat, 17 Aug 2019 16:01 - Updated Sun, 18 Aug 2019 09:47
SADC Chairman points out political progress
Luanda - The acting Chairman of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) , Hage Geingob, said Saturday that one of the northworthy achievements in the 27 years of the existence of the regional economic bloc was the consolidation of democracy in the member States.
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SADC countries' national flags
Photo: Henri Celso
In a message on the occasion of the SADC Day, 17 August, the regional bloc Chairman and President of Namibia, said the region continues to consolidate the democratic principles to ensure an effective governance.
"We should be proud of our organisation (SADC) as we are steadily progressing towards achieving regional integration and sustainable develpment, with the aim of eliminating poverty and ensuring better living conditions for SADC citizens,” he said in his message.
The SADC Chairman added that all this is being achieved through the harmonisation of policies and strategies designed in order to put in place people-centred sustainable development.
According to the acting President, SADC has transformed into an important and effective regional organisation, by contributing positive and significantly to the development and economic integration of the region , while ensuring that peace and security prevail.
He stated that the governance architecture within the region continues to strengthen and, in this connection, it is imperative that “we commend the people and the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for holding peaceful elections, and for maintaining peace during the post-election period.”
"I can attest that it was not an easy undertaking to ensure that the elections in the DRC were finally held and conducted in a peaceful environment. But thanks to our unity of purpose and commitment to regional harmony, we prevailed,” he stated.
He also commended the people and the Governments of the Comoros, Kingdom of Eswatini, Republic of Madagascar, Republic of Malawi and Republic of South Africa, for holding credible and peaceful elections.
The holding of regular elections in the region is testimony to the region’s shared values and observance of the principles of democracy and rule of law as enshrined in the SADC Treaty.
As the official assured, the region will continue to hold elections in line with the principal objective of the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.
SADC is determined to achieve regional industrialization through effective implementation of the flagship strategies, which include the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan, the Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan and the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap , said the SADC Chairperson.
In this regard, he recalled , the 38th SADC Summit, which was held in Windhoek in August 2018, adopted the Summit theme, “Promoting Infrastructure Development and Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development.”
The theme was adopted because SADC is committed to infrastructural development.
To him, things have been moving in the right direction, noting that a major milestone was reached when the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement entered into force on the 30th of May 2019, following the ratification by 25 Countries.
He also recalled that the operational phase of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was launched on 7 July 2019 in Niamey, Niger, during the 12th Extraordinary Session of the African Union Assembly.
Hage Geingob described the AfCFTA as a flagship project of Agenda 2063, where goods and services will move freely among member states of the African Union (AU), with the objective of boosting intra-African trade.
With this in place, buttressed by other regional free trade agreements, the SADC region is destined to accrue immense benefits that will contribute to the economic growth and development in the region, the Namibian leader stated.
On the other hand, SADC Chairman recalled that while the region has intensified effort to ensure development, there are natural disasters caused by unpredictable weather conditions confronting the member states
He mentioned that the region is faced with the reality of climate change with devastating effects of cyclones and severe drought like in
Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
The officials reiterated that in view of the increased occurrence of climate-related catastrophes, such as cyclones, floods and droughts, around the world and especially in the SADC region, SADC re-emphasises its call for joint global efforts to reduce global warming and the impacts of climate change and variability, while stepping up efforts to enhance adaptive capacities of developing countries in line with the spirit of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030) and Article 8(4) of the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
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