The Program on Climate Change and Mitigation in the COMESA-EAC-SADC region recently held a meeting with its Development Partners, to present and discuss the 2013 progress report and expenditure as well as the proposed 2014 work plan and budget among other issues.
The meeting which was hosted by the SADC Programme Management Unit (PMU) was held in Pretoria, South Africa on February 5, 2014 and attended by PMUs from Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and East African Community (EAC) as well as representatives of The Department for International Development (DFID), Norway and European Union (EU).
Officially opening the meeting, the Tripartite Programme Co-ordinator/COMESA Climate Change Advisor, Dr Mclay Kanyangarara highlighted the critical importance of the program which is structured to spearhead regional integration and greater coordination of efforts to reduce trans-boundary challenges faced by people of the region.
The Development Partners concurred with Dr Kanyangarara on the importance of the program as a way for enhanced political and socio-economic north – south ties and collaboration towards sustainable development with mutual benefits.
The Development Partners adopted the 2013 progress and expenditure reports whilst highlighting the need to expedite project implementation over 2014, as the program was coming to a close in 2016.
The meeting agreed on strategies that should be employed to enhance program delivery. These strategies included bringing the new SADC and EAC PMUs up to speed by COMESA, engaging and effectively managing consultants, revision of the Log frame, the development of a grants management manual, Improved communication between the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), exchange of ideas and reporting among RECs and DPs, the use of an online reporting system among others.
Speaking at the same meeting, DFID indicated that it will be increasing its support to the Regional Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis (RVAA), by 2.5 Million Pounds, courtesy of the Swiss Government.
The Executive Secretary of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax paid a courtesy call to the kingdom of Swaziland on 12th to 13th February 2014. During her visit, she met His Majesty King Mswati III, His Excellency Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini, the Right Honourable Prime Minister, and Honourable Chief Mgwagwa Gamedze, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Meeting at Lositha Royal Palace, on Thursday, 13th February, 2014, His Majesty King Mswati III of the Kingdom of Swaziland and the SADC Executive Secretary Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax have underscored the importance of leveraging the political milestones achieved by SADC over the years, and thus the peace and political stability in the region by fostering economic integration and development in the region. They further acknowledged the need for forging SADC common positions in regional and international fora, and as such, SADC region to actively engage and position itself in the AU AGENDA 2063, encapsulated in the African Union Vision 2063 for "An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena." The need to fast track the tripartite EAC-COMESA-SADC Free Trade Area was also emphasized, as a stepping stone towards the envisaged AU Grand Free Trade Area.
While acknowledging the political milestones achieved in Madagascar, they underscored that, it is important to ensure that efforts are made towards national reconciliation. They also called for international support to assist in the economic reconstruction of Madagascar. They furthermore hailed the progress made in the peace process in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
The two leaders reaffirmed the need to expedite the implementation of the SADC Infrastructure Master Plan and the pivotal role that infrastructure will play in the economic development of the region.
|SADC SECRETARIAT||17th FEBRUARY 2014|