The Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister of the Republic of Estonia, Honourable Mr. Vaino Reinart, on 12th September 2018 visited the SADC Secretariat during his 3-day official visit to Botswana from the 10th to 12th September 2018.
In his welcome remarks, on behalf of the SADC Executive Secretary, H.E. Stergomena Lawrence Tax, the Director of Finance, Investment and Customs at the Secretariat, Mr Sadwick Mtonakutha informed Hon. Reinart that SADC regional integration and development agenda is guided by the revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) and Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ on Defence, Politics and Security (SIPO) which seeks to create a peaceful and stable political and security environment.
Mr Mtonakutha said the RISDP is an implementation framework guiding the SADC Regional Integration agenda for the period spanning fifteen years (2005-2020). It is designed to provide clear strategic direction with respect to SADC programmes, projects and activities in line with the SADC Common Agenda and strategic priorities, as enshrined in the SADC Treaty of 1992.
He informed the Hon Deputy Minister that, learning from what Estonia has done in the area of trade facilitation, especially between Estonia and Russia, SADC would benefit in the process of developing a framework for e-certificate of origin.
Commenting on infrastructure, the SADC Director of Infrastructure, Ms. Mapolao Mokoena mentioned that SADC has a project with the aim of implementing a Regional Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), which is a foundation on which other applications, system, and network security components are built. On this note, Ms. Mapolao informed the Deputy Minister that in November 2018 there will be a workshop to discuss issues around PKI. Currently five SADC Member States; Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa and Zambia are using some form of Public Key Infrastructure.
Director of Industrial Development and Trade, Mr Tapiwa Samanga observed that SADC Member States are at different levels in the uptake of economic opportunities offered by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. However, SADC has put in place measures to explore the opportunities availed by the Fourth Industrial Revolution so that Member States are ready to exploit the opportunities.
On his part, the Estonian Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister expressed gratitude for the warm welcome to the SADC Secretariat. He said the Government of Estonia is looking for opportunities to cooperate with SADC Secretariat and Member States in order to promote e-services in the region.
He said Estonia and Mauritius signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the 29th November 2017 to promote cooperation in the field of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) where, among other things, the countries are implementing the national data exchange layer based on Estonian X-road in Mauritius; awareness building on Cyber Security and protection of critical infrastructure through training and exchange of experience in areas of data protection, cyber-crime and protection of critical infrastructure.
He expressed interest to participate in the workshop on KPI and to learn more about the SADC e-certificate of origin programme.
Hon. Mr. Vaino Reinart was accompanied by Ms Marki Tihhonova, Director of the Business Diplomacy Division of the External Economic and Development Cooperation Department and Mr Jaanus Varu, Counsellor of the 4th Division of the Political Department.