On 13 September 2023, His Excellency Howard Van Vranken, US Ambassador to the Republic of Botswana and Representative of SADC, hosted the SADC Executive Secretary, H.E. Mr Elias Magosi, SADC Ambassadors, Heads of Diplomatic Missions and Senior Government Officials from the Republic of Botswana to a reception to celebrate the signing of the SADC-USA Regional Development Objective Agreement (DOAG).
The DOAG, worth over USD 223 million, was signed on 3 August 2023 at the SADC Secretariat Headquarters and seeks to promote cooperation between SADC and the Government of the United States in the areas of economic growth, democracy and governance, health, youth environment and climate change, The DOAG will be implemented over a period of five (5) years, from 2023 – 2028 and is to be administered by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The SADC Executive Secretary, remarked that the US is a critical partner of SADC, given the long-standing history of cooperation at both regional and Member States levels. He indicated that the DOAG provides an excellent opportunity to strengthen and deepen cooperation and partnership in the context of facilitating regional integration, poverty alleviation and sustainable development.
H.E. Magosi underscored the need for strong collaboration in the implementation of the DOAG, with a primary focus on results and impact on the livelihoods of the people of Southern Africa, “The success of the implementation of this Agreement will be determined by the results and impact achieved in facilitating regional integration, poverty alleviation, and enhancing lives and livelihoods of our people in the SADC region,” said H.E. Magosi.
The U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Botswana reaffirmed the long-standing partnership between SADC and the US Government that have existed over the years, founded on shared values, mutual respect, respect for sovereignty and a commitment to addressing the challenges and opportunities that our nations and our communities face.
“This Agreement (DOAG) is an opportunity for SADC and the US Government to engage together to achieve common goals, it's as symbol of our shared vision for a better future; it signifies our pledge to work shoulder to shoulder with SADC countries, with the people in SADC countries, respecting their sovereignty and helping to unlock the immense potential that resides within the SADC region,” H.E. Ambassador Van Vranken said.
The US Ambassador emphasized that the US Government is deeply committed to supporting the development goals of SADC countries and SADC itself, recognizing that sustainable development is a pathway to prosperity, stability and a brighter future for all.
The United States and SADC have a rich history of partnership which has been operationalised through, amongst others, development initiatives under the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Millenium Challenge Account, which have both immensely contributed to socio-economic development in the region.
The reception was held at the US Official residence and was attended by other esteemed representatives from the Government of Botswana, dignitaries from the local diplomatic community and SADC Secretariat Staff.