The new Deputy Chief of Mission for the United States Embassy in Botswana, Ms. Kali Chantelle Jones, paid a courtesy call to formally introduce herself to the SADC Executive Secretary, Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax at the SADC Secretariat head office in Gaborone, Botswana on the 31st October 2018.
Ms. Jones said she looks forward to fostering a cordial relationship with SADC during her tour of duty. She pointed out that the US Embassy in Gaborone will host a Regional upcoming Regional Conference of U.S Diplomats in the SADC region from the 14 -16 November 2018, to discuss regional policy and initiatives as well as outlining priorities within the US-supported regional initiatives and programmes on socio-economic and political sphere. She further mentioned that the Federal Government of the United States was willing to see a greater partnership with SADC, so as to strengthen collaborative relationships and find natural synergies to advance SADC priorities, and US-SADC cooperation.
In her part, Dr. Tax welcomed Ms. Jones and congratulated her on the new appointment. Dr. Tax shared on the SADC priorities as outlined in the Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Plan (RISDP) 2015-2020, which are envisaged to integrate the SADC markets, enhancing SADC intra-regional trade and economic diversification. She further stated that the Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ on Defence, Politics and Security (SIPO), which was also directly linked to the RISDP, was key in strengthening and deepening cooperation in the areas of peace and security. She said that through the United States support the region has achieved a lot in the advancement of its regional integration agenda, economic development and social harmony.
The parties also discussed the SADC-USAID support to SADC at the regional and national level. Both parties agreed to continue with both the regional approach and bilateral arrangements to support the SADC integration agenda.