The Republic of Botswana remains committed to the principles, ideals, values, goals and aspirations of Forefathers of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) as outlined in the SADC Treaty, Honourable Ms. Peggy Serame, Minister of Finance and Economic Development has said.
She was speaking during a courtesy call paid to her by SADC Executive Secretary, His Excellency Mr. Elias Mpedi Magosi, on the 10th December, 2021, in Gaborone, Botswana.
Hon. Min. Serame congratulated the Executive Secretary for his recent appointment at the 41st SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government held in August 2021 in the Republic of Malawi. She reiterated Botswana's commitment in playing her part to ensure that SADC remains relevant and stays on course to achieve principles, ideals, values, goals and aspirations as envisioned by the Forefathers during its formative years.
The Hon. Min. advanced that regional economic development and peace and security remain intertwined. She observed that by their nature, poverty stricken communities are vulnerable to external influences which pose great danger to peace and security in the Region.
She also emphasised on the need to create an enviable inclusive environment to promote interests of other vulnerable groups such as women, youth and those living with disabilities. Hon. Min. Serame concurred with H.E Magosi that agro-processing has a huge potential not only to develop the Region, but also to create a lot of jobs for the citizenry.
For his part, the SADC Executive Secretary appreciated the opportunity bestowed on him by Heads of State and Government to lead SADC on its transformational agenda.
He informed the Minister that SADC remains guided by three core pillars of 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 as outlined in Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020–2030.
The Executive Secretary observed that, notwithstanding sporadic challenges here and there, the SADC Region remains calm, stable and peaceful and that where challenges exist, they are addressed through the existing structures. H.E Magosi cited financial and capability challenges that SADC faces in its endeavour to address conflicts in the Region, but appreciated assistance sought from the African Union