The new Ambassador to the Republic of Botswana and Special Representative to the Southern African Development Community (SADC), His Excellency Mr. Kozo Takeda presented a Letter of Credence to the SADC Executive Secretary, Her Excellency Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax at the SADC Secretariat, in Gaborone, Botswana, on 27th November, 2017.
Ambassador Takeda expressed gratitude for the cordial relationship that exists between the Republic of Japan and SADC. While presenting his letter of credence, he pledged his commitment to further strengthen cooperation between Japan and SADC through collaboration in support of regional integration and development. He observed that the region has plenty of natural resources, which are expected to foster the region's development, and which also present investments opportunities to Japanese companies.
Dr. Tax welcomed the new Ambassador, and thanked the Ambassador for the continued support and cooperation that SADC has enjoyed over the years from the Government and people of Japan. She assured the new Ambassador of SADC's commitment to work closely with him, as was the case with his predecessor Ambassador Masahiro Onishi.
She expressed SADC's appreciation for the ongoing technical assistance to SADC granted by the Government of Japan, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), under the project on Forest Conservation and Sustainable Management of Forest Resources in Southern Africa. She indicated that the project has contributed to forest conservation and sustainable management of forest resource.
Dr. Tax emphasized the need to finalize the ongoing SADC-Japan energy projects scooping exercise, an exercise that is expected to facilitate Japanese investments in the energy sector, and contribute to SADC priorities A and B, namely Industrialization and Market Integration; and infrastructure in support of regional integration.
The Executive Secretary also hailed the Government of Japan and SADC Ambassador's in Japan for the continued efforts to attract investors to the SSDC Region, particularly through the Annual SADC-Japan Investments Forum. In this regards, she underscored the need for an effective follow-up mechanism that will facilitate the concretization of investments in projects that are identified during the Annual Investments Forums. She also requested the Government of Japan to consider supporting SADC through One Stop Boarder Posts Projects, learning from similar Japanese support in this area to other Regional Economic Communities (RECs).