The Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius, Honourable Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, has called for the implementation of more joint projects to ease connectivity and enhance intra-regional trade among Member States of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The Prime Minister made the call when he received a courtesy from the Executive Secretary of SADC, His Excellency Mr. Elias M Magosi, at the New Treasury Building in Port Louis, Mauritius, on 27th March 2023.
Hon. Jugnauth said there was a huge potential and opportunities for economic growth and industrialisation in SADC, because the community has abundant natural resources and raw materials. He added that, what the region needed was more collaboration and joint projects to make connectivity easy, facilitate intra-regional trade, and reduce the cost of doing business.
The courtesy call is part of the SADC Executive Secretary’s programme to introduce himself to the Heads of State and Government in the region, share his ideas about a sustainable approach to expedite regional integration, achieve peace and security, as well as seek guidance and direction from the region’s leadership.
The SADC Executive Secretary highlighted that, among his priorities during his tenure, was to work with the Member States to eliminate obstacles to regional integration, industrialisation and improve access to market in the region. He said the wish of the Secretariat was to have all the enabling instruments that have been approved, become operational and begin to produce the intended results.
H.E. Magosi sighted the SADC Regional Development Fund (RDF), which was proposed nearly a decade ago, as a self-financing and revolving mechanism intended to end reliance on external support, as well as leverage private sector funding to drive the region’s development agenda as a key instrument that needed signatures. The agreement to operationalise the fund has been signed by only nine Member States, and none of them, has deposited instruments of ratification with the SADC Secretariat. With the RDF in place, the region will be able to determine the type and scale of tangible projects and programmes to make positive impact on the lives of the citizens of the SADC region.
The Prime Minister welcomed the SADC Executive Secretary, assured him of his government’s support on his ideas and the proposed approach to expedite regional integration and industrialisation, and that he will facilitate the processes towards Mauritius’ signing and ratification of the outstanding protocols.
During the visit, the SADC Executive Secretary held discussions with Hon. Alan Ganoo, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and international Trade, and Minister of Land, Transport and Light Rail, who was accompanied by Mrs Minakshi Dabee-Hauzaree the Director of Co-operation in the Ministry of foreign Affairs, Regional Integration, and international Trade, who is also the SADC National Contact Point for the Republic of Mauritius.
The SADC Executive Secretary was accompanied by the Director for Planning and Resource Mobilisation, Dr Mubita Luwabelwa, the Acting Director of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs, Ms Kealeboga Moruti and the Head of Communication and Public Relations, Ms Barbara Lopi.
H.E. Magosi is the seventh Executive Secretary of SADC who assumed his position on 1st September, 2021, following his appointment at the 41st SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government held in Lilongwe, Malawi in August, 2021.