The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC), the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD), the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the European Union (EU) signed a new joint cooperation programme worth 1.332 billion Euros in Brussels, Belgium on June 5, 2015.
The Meeting took place at the venue of the commemoration of the EU Development Days 2015. The five Regional Economic Communities (RECs) of Eastern and Southern Africa, and the Indian Ocean Region and the EU re-confirmed the priorities of cooperation under the 11th European Development Fund, which led to the signing of a jointly agreed Regional Indicative Programme (RIP).
Delivering her remarks at the occasion graced by senior technical officials from both sides, and the media, SADCExecutive Secretary, Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax expressed appreciation to the EU and the RECs for their commitment to the consultation process; and urged all stakeholders to remain committed to the implementation of the programme. She expressed appreciation to the two sides for ensuring that the RIP is aligned to the Regional Organisations’ strategic development plans. She noted that the RIP comes at a time when SADC had just finalised its Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap. Accordingly, SADC will utilise its 90 million Euro allocation to strengthen market integration, regional infrastructure development, industrialisation and transformative production. Dr. Tax ended by emphasising the need for the RECs to work closely with civil society and private sector partners in order to take development to the citizens of the EA-SA-IO Region.
The joint Regional Indicative Programme will be implemented during the period 2015 – 2020.