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 Extra-ordinary Summit of SADC Heads of state and Government has lifted the suspension on Madagascar and has invited the country to immediately resume its participation in all SADC activities.
In a communiqué issued yesterday, 30th January 2014, Summit congratulated H.E. Hery Rajaonarinampianina for his election as the First President of the Fourth Republic of Madagascar and welcomed his undertakings towards national reconciliation, and social and economic recovery made during his inauguration on 25 January 2014. Summit also welcomed the decision by the Peace and Security Council of the AU on 27 January, 2014 to lift the suspension on Madagascar.
Summit commended Member States for standing firm on SADC principles against those who usurp power through violence and unconstitutional means; and by consistently supporting the Malagasy people throughout the difficult times brought about by the unconstitutional change of Government in the country.
Furthermore, Summit recognized and commended the support of the International Community in returning Madagascar to constitutional order.
Before the suspension was lifted by Summit, SADC Executive Secretary Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax had told the Peace and Security Council of the AU that SADC was satisfied with the process and that the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation His Excellency Hifikepunye Pohamba, President of the Republic of Namibia, has recommended to the SADC Summit to lift the sanctions on Madagascar following the restoration of the constitutional order which was a required condition for lifting the suspension imposed on the Republic of Madagascar.
Addressing the AU PSC earlier in the week, Dr. Tax called upon the international community and urged the Malagasy people and its political leadership to sustain the gains achieved thus far. "SADC appeals to the African Union, the United Nations and other similar bodies to welcome the positive steps that Madagascar has made through the recent peaceful transparent and fair elections and to spare no effort at ensuring that democracy and the rule of law are enhanced in the Southern Africa", she said.