April 21, 2024

SADC Executive Secretary meets Senior Officials of the World Bank, US Department of State and Germany Government on the margins of the 2024 IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings to expand avenues for deepening economic integration and development

On the margins of the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington DC, United States of America from 15 to 20 April, 2024, the Executive Secretary of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), His Excellency Mr. Elias M. Magosi held a series of meetings with officials of the World Bank, United States Department of State and Germany Government in a bid to deepen development cooperation between SADC and its strategic partners.

The SADC Executive Secretary met Mr. David Gainer, Director of the Africa Office at the US Department of State, Ms. Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank Regional Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa, and Ms. Birgit Pickel, Director General of the Africa Directorate, Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). 

During the meetings, the SADC Executive Secretary took the opportunity to thank the partners for the technical assistance and financial support rendered to the SADC Secretariat and bilaterally, to the SADC Member States towards their socio-economic development. The Executive Secretary underlined the need for a strong partnership which will have lasting impact on the lives of the people of the SADC region.

During the meeting with the United States Department of State, the two parties underscored the need for closer collaboration to tackle contemporary global challenges of armed conflict, climate change and food insecurity, while driving forward industrialisation, trade and economic growth in line with the objectives set out in the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP 2020-2030). The two parties welcomed the proposed SADC-USA Dialogue Forum, an engagement platform between SADC and USA created to discuss strategic issues of mutual interest between the two parties in a more coordinated, sustainable and structured manner.

The meeting of the SADC Executive Secretary with the US State Department comes against the background of the signing of the SADC-USA Regional Development Objective Agreement, worth US$223 million in August 2023, covering support in the areas of economic growth; environment and energy; youth; democracy and governance; and health. The projects under the DOAG will be administered by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for a five-year period covering 2023 to 2028.

During the meeting between SADC and the World Bank, the parties agreed to explore areas of collaboration by leveraging on the expertise of the World Bank in infrastructure financing, tackling inequality and poverty reduction. Some of the areas of collaboration include addressing the effects of climate change, increasing access to energy, water and sanitation and utilising the potential of digitalization and technology in advancing regional integration and inclusive economic growth and development.  

The Executive Secretary extended SADC’s gratitude to the World Bank for the US$20 million World Bank funded project portfolio supporting the Public Procurement Umbrella Monitoring and Evaluation Framework and Capacity Development, Regional Statistics project, Regional Climate Resilience Programme for Eastern and Southern Africa, and Sustainable Groundwater Management.

In his remarks at the meeting with Germany, the SADC Executive Secretary hailed the long-standing partnership between the German Government and SADC towards deepening regional integration and development. He cited as an example the successful Bilateral Negotiations held in December 2023, during which the Federal  Germany Government committed additional support amounting to EUR 36.4 million towards support regional integration on areas related to regional economic integration, transboundary water management, environment and natural resources management, and institutional strengthening.

Ms. Birgit Pickel reaffirmed Germany’s commitment to supporting Regional Economic Communities like SADC to promote regional economic integration, having learnt lessons from the European Union. Ms. Birgit Pickel highlighted that Germany is currently liaising with the World Bank on ways to address the immediate needs of the countries in Southern Africa that have been affected by drought.

In the series of meetings that were held on the margins of the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington DC, the SADC Executive Secretary stressed to the partners the need for close collaboration in supporting SADC’s prioritised high impact and transformative regional projects with an estimated cost of US$ 625 billion, covering the priority areas of the RISDP 2020-2030 namely, Peace, Security, and Good Governance; Industrial Development and Market Integration; Infrastructure Development in Support of Regional Integration; Social and Human Capital Development; and Cross-cutting issues of Gender, Youth, Environment and Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Management.