June 5, 2024

Heads of EEAS and DG INTPA pays Courtesy Call on the SADC Acting Executive Secretary

The Head of Division for the Southern Africa and Indian Ocean at the European External Action Service (EEAS), Ms. Luisa Ragher and the Head of Unit for Southern Africa, Indian Ocean at the European Commission`s Directorate General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA), Ms. Sylvie Millot, on 5 June 2024 paid a courtesy visit to the SADC Acting Executive Secretary, Dr. Judith Kateera who is the Deputy Executive Secretary for Corporate Affairs at the SADC Secretariat. The two European Union`s (EU) Heads were accompanied to the SADC Secretariat by Ms. Petra Pereyra, EU Ambassador Mission Director for Southern Africa and Mr. Clement Boutillier, Head of Development Cooperation-EU.

Both the EEAS and DG-INTPA are critical organisations of the European Union system and are responsible for the EU’s foreign and security policy, and international development and cooperation policy, respectively. 

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss issues of mutual interest between SADC and the EU and explore opportunities for strengthening cooperation. Key issues that were discussed include the following: 

1.   Preparation of SADC-EU Ministerial Meeting to be held in Luanda, Angola

2.   Regional Developments – including elections, peace and security

3.   El Niño Southern Africa Emergency

The EEAS expressed appreciation for the strong partnership it has with SADC, which will be further cemented at the upcoming SADC – EU Ministerial Political Dialogue.

The EU acknowledged awareness of the impending withdrawal of the SADC Mission from the Republic of Mozambique (SAMIM) in July and informed the meeting that while the mandate of the EU Training Mission in Mozambique was due to end in August 2024, the Council of the EU had extended it to June 2026 to ensure sufficient provision of support to Cabo Delgado region and the wider region.

The EU also expressed its appreciation to SADC on its collaboration in regional programmes. The meeting was informed of the ongoing mid-term review of the Sub-Saharan Africa Multi-Annual Indicative Programme 2021 – 2027 (SA MIP). Also highlighted was the EU’s Global Gateway Initiative, which seeks to close the global investment gap in areas such as Energy, Transport, Health, Digital, Education and Research.

The SADC Secretariat informed the EU delegation of the ongoing operationalisation of the SADC Regional Development Fund (RDF), with assistance from the African Development Bank (AfDB). The proposed Fund aims to deliver a financially sustainable structure that invests in regional commercial projects furthering regional integration and enhancing trade with positive economic and social benefits.

The Secretariat further indicated that it is granted permission by the Council of Ministers last year to embrace and engage the private sector and come up with innovative approaches to source resources for the RDF. This is especially important in the case of emerging threats such as climate change in the region.