The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Executive Secretary, His Excellency Mr Elias Magosi, received letters of credence from Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Sweden to the Republic of South Africa and SADC H.E Mr Håkan Juholt on 17th January 2024 in Gaborone, Botswana. H.E. Magosi expressed SADC`s commitment to continuously work with Sweden, in various capacities, to strengthen and deepen cooperation in the advancement of regional integration. Both sides recognised the alignment of development priorities between the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020-2030 and the 2022-2026 Swedish Global Development Cooperation on Sustainable Economic Development.
H.E. Juholt updated the Secretariat on the recent engagement with the SADC Parliamentary Forum on issues related to HIV/AIDS and model laws on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), this is one of the areas that are currently supported by Sweden in the SADC region.
The Swedish Embassy congratulated SADC on the recent successful elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and expressed concerns on the prevailing peace and security situation in the DRC. In this regard, the ES apprised the Embassy on the recent deployment of the SADC Mission in the DRC and appealed for financial support towards enhancing security and promoting peace in the Eastern part of the DRC.
The Executive Secretary further emphasised the need for urgent support towards the implementation of the regional integration agenda in critical areas such as industrialisation, trade, health, education, climate change, peace and security, and resource mobilisation. SADC`s priority focus is to enhance result and impact of regional integration, including strengthening communication and visibility of the role of SADC in coordinating and facilitating regional integration, poverty alleviation and sustainable development. Other areas requiring support include capacity building on reporting, ICT reforms, project preparation and resource mobilisation.
The Swedish Embassy encouraged SADC to promote collaboration amongst member states, with a view to advance mutual benefit for growth and development. This model has worked well for the NORDIC Countries and is a fundamental catalyst for the developed status for Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland.
Both sides committed to collaborate towards the implementation of SRHR initiatives. The current Swedish programme portfolio in the SADC region amounts to over Euro 100 million.