SADC Executive Secretary, Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax says "SADC has been there for quite some time and it has its regional strategic plan. So we have to make sure that we consolidate what has already been done and refocus on a few key prioritised interventions and areas which will result in visible output and impact".
Speaking shortly after meeting the Mauritian Prime Minister, Dr. Navinchandra Ramgoolam, Dr. Tax told Government Information Services at Treasury Building in Port Louis, Mauritius on Friday, November 29th, 2013 that "The focus of SADC now is on infrastructure development because it has multiple effects on a number of sectors. Infrastructure development also takes into account the specificities of the different Member States. The new dimension is to make sure that we get resources for infrastructure development, moving away from traditional ways of mobilising resources and coming up with innovative ways," SADC Executive Secretary, Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax
The SADC Executive Secretary visited the Republic of Mauritius from the 28th to 29th November 2013 to pay a courtesy call on the Prime Minister and to engage with key Government officials on key priority areas of regional integration. During her visit Dr. Tax also met the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Dr. the Honourable Arvin Boolell; the Acting Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade H.E. Mrs V. Dwarka Cannabady; and the Director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr. M. Phokeer.
The Government of Mauritius and the SADC Executive Secretary reaffirmed the strategic importance of infrastructure development for every SADC Member State, including Oceanic States. They identified the need for innovative ways in resources mobilization that will enable SADC to tap available resources in the market, beyond conventional ways, so as to fast-track development and implementation of SADC programmes, particularly the development of regional infrastructure as a priority.
They hailed the positive developments in Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In that regard, they reiterated the need for continued concerted efforts to find a peaceful and lasting resolution to the conflict in the DRC while the maintaining the momentum in bringing Madagascar to constitutional normalcy. They recognised the urgent need for all Member States to contribute towards the elections in Madagascar and to support sustainable economic and political stability in Madagascar beyond the elections in order to consolidate the progress made so far and thereby preserving the image and credibility of SADC.
They emphasised the need for enhancing dynamism at the Secretariat with the necessary paradigm shift to ensure that the Secretariat is responsive and pro-active in executing its mandate as enshrined in the Treaty. They acknowledged the need to strengthen coordination between the SADC Secretariat and Member States, as this will lead to the fast-tracking of implementation of regional initiatives and development plans.
Dr. Tax congratulated the Republic of Mauritius for establishing a Regional Training Centre for Customs. Dr. Tax visited the Regional Training Centre and urged the 42 participants from all SADC Member States to cascade the knowledge gained at the Centre to their respective countries. The Centre is being run by SADC Secretariat staff in collaboration with the World Customs Organization and GIZ. The one–week programme that started on 25th November is specifically on SADC Rules of Origin and other Customs subject areas aimed at assisting Member States to effectively implement the provisions of the Protocol on Trade.