On 19th January 2018, the African Development Bank (AfDB) successfully concluded its mission to the Secretariat of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The two parties agreed on priority areas and practical steps to actualize their partnership aimed at accelerating the pace of development in the region. The agreed priority areas include: identification and operationalisation of viable financing instruments to support infrastructure and value chain projects; technical support towards preparation of value chains; technical expertise to drive the preparation of instruments to operationalize the SADC Development Fund; and support to capacitate Regional Development Financial Institutions. The next steps are to finalise the short, medium and long term activities and to clearly define the responsibilities of the Parties. This is expected to be finalised by 30th January 2018.
The Executive Secretary of SADC, Her Excellency Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax highlighted that SADC values the important role that the AfDB plays in supporting regional integration and development in Africa. Dr. Tax commended the AfDB Mission and staff at the SADC Secretariat for working together to come up with priority areas and practical steps to operationalize the Bank’s areas of development assistance to SADC, saying, after three years of discussions between the Bank and SADC at various levels, it was now time to act. She noted that the agreed priorities are in line with SADC policies, strategies and priorities.
In her remarks, the Deputy Director-General of the AfDB’ Southern Africa Regional and Delivery Service Office in Pretoria, South Africa, Dr. Josephine Ngure, underscored the need for close collaboration and partnership between AfDB and the SADC Secretariat in order to make a lasting impact on the lives of the people of the SADC region.
Dr. Ngure said the Bank’s areas of support envisaged for the SADC Region are consistent with the Bank’s five priority areas known as the “High Fives” that were introduced in 2015, which are; Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Integrate Africa, Industrialize Africa, and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa. Aligned to the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy, the “High Fives”, seek to advance Africa’s transformative agenda over a period of 10 years. The Deputy Director General said, as SADC and AfDB move towards formalizing their partnership in the coming months, the Bank is counting on the SADC leadership to scale up the impact of the Bank’s development cooperation in the Region, adding that, through its Regional Integration Strategy, the Bank is exploring other ways of providing support to further enhance regional integration in the SADC region.