The Republic of Namibia on 9th August, 2018 took over the Chairpersonship of the SADC Standing Committee of Senior Officials from the Republic of South Africa, marking the start of the official handover of the SADC Chairpersonship to Namibia during the 38th SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government on 17-18 August, 2018.
The official handover of the Chairpersonship of the Senior Officials from South Africa to Namibia took place at the official opening of the Senior Officials meeting held on 9 August, 2018. The Senior Officials meeting is one of the preceding meetings leading to the 38th SADC Summit.
In his remarks, Mr. Sandile Schalk the Chief Director for the SADC Desk in the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, expressed gratitude to members of the Standing Committee of Senior Officials for their support and co-operation since August 2017 when South Africa assumed the Chairpersonship.
Mr. Schalk said, South Africa will continue to contribute to the deliberations of the Committee to ultimately, improve the quality of life, opportunities and prosperity of the people of southern Africa through realisation of sustainable economic development and regional integration.
On her part, the new Chairperson of the Committee, who is also the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation of Namibia, Ambassador Selma Ashipala-Musavyi, thanked the Republic of South Africa for the effective manner in which they steered the work of the Standing Committee of Senior Officials.
Ambassador Ashipala-Musavyi said, while SADC has made been notable progress in many sectors, especially infrastructural connectivity, economic development and trade, as well as in ensuring that peace and security prevails in the region, the Committee still has more work to do in its advisory role to the SADC Council of Ministers.
She added said with the collective support of all members of the Committee, Namibia will be able to steer the work of the Committee and elevate its deliberations to high levels of expectation and intended results, of sustained economic growth and sustainable development in the region.
The SADC Standing Committee of Senior Officials is a technical advisory committee to the Council of Ministers. The Committee meets twice a year and it consists of one Permanent/Principal Secretary, or an official of equivalent rank from each Member State, preferably from a ministry responsible for economic planning or finance. The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the Standing Committee are appointed from the Member States holding the Chairpersonship and Vice-Chairpersonship, of the Council.