A delegation from the Argentine Republic paid a courtesy call on the SADC Secretariat on Friday October 14, 2016. The 16 Member delegation was led by Mr. Raúl Ailán, Director of Bilateral Cooperation at the General Directorate of International Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship, Argentine Republic. The delegation included Mr. Hugo Ribba, National Director of Agricultural Machinery at the Ministry of Agroindustry; Mr. Amadeo Nicora, the newly appointed President of the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA); and Representatives from the Argentine Chamber of Agricultural Machinery (CAFMA), the Embassy of the Argentine Republic to South Africa, and delegates from the Argentine private sector on agricultural machinery.
The delegation informed the SADC Secretariat that the Government of the Argentine Republic intends to strengthen development cooperation with Regional Economic Communities (RECs), as well as through bilateral technical projects in the fields of conservation agriculture, extension services, support to small scale farmers, and agricultural machinery in Southern Africa. The objective of the visit of the delegation was to promote Private Public Partnerships (PPP) in the context of South-South Cooperation concept, focusing mainly on Agro-Industrialisation and Science and Technology Innovation. The delegation expressed willingness to establish close relationship with SADC through official accreditation, and to explore ways to enhance cooperation between SADC and the Government of the Argentine Republic through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
The SADC Deputy Executive Secretary for Regional Integration, Dr. Thembinkosi Mhlongo, welcomed the delegation to the SADC Secretariat and conveyed his appreciations to the Government of the Argentine Republic. He outlined the SADC priorities described in the Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (the Revised RISDP 2015-2020) and the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap (2015-2063) to the delegation. He reiterated the importance of Industrialisation for the region, such as, among others, agro-processing, pharmaceuticals, and mineral beneficiation. He emphasized the importance of cooperation in the agricultural sector with experienced countries like Argentina, and welcomed the initiative from the Argentine Republic through its willingness to establish close relationship with SADC.
The Deputy Executive Secretary for Regional Integration thanked the delegation for visiting SADC, and conveyed the Secretariat’s readiness to strengthen cooperation with the Government of the Argentine Republic on matters of mutual interest.