The French Head of Regional Economic Service for Southern Africa, based at the Embassy of France in Pretoria, South Africa, Mr. Serge Boscher, paid a courtesy call on the SADC Secretariat Acting Executive Secretary in Gaborone, Botswana on 23rd May 2016.
The Deputy Executive Secretary for Regional Integration, Dr. Thembinkosi Mhlongo, welcomed Mr. Serge Boscher to the SADC Secretariat on behalf of the Executive Secretary, and exchanged notes on SADC's long term strategies for development and Regional Integration.
During the meeting, Dr. Mhlongo explained that SADC has just undergone a review and revision of its Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (the revised RISDP 2015-2020), which main priorities are: Priority A – Industrial Development and Market Integration; Priority B – Infrastructure in support of regional integration; Priority C – Peace and security cooperation; and Priority D – Special programmes of regional dimension, which, among other issues, include Natural Resources and Food Security. He indicated also that SADC has prioritized Industrialization as guided by the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap (2015 – 2063) adopted by the Summit in August 2015, and which is aligned with the Agenda 2063.
Mr. Boscher reaffirmed the importance of Industrialization as a pillar for Regional Integration, as well as Infrastructure to facilitate and support the processes. In this regard, he expressed his willingness to encourage French Institutions, such as the French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement - AFD), to engage closely with SADC in view of supporting these strategies.
The Deputy Executive Secretary for Regional Integration thanked Mr. Serge Boscher for visiting SADC, and appreciated the continued cooperation to the SADC Secretariat. He conveyed the Secretariat's readiness to continued cooperation with the Government of France, in order to accelerate Regional Integration in Southern Africa.