On 6 May 2020, the United Nations Children's Education Fund (UNICEF) Regional Director for East and Southern Africa (ESARO Mr. Mohamed Malick Fall, paid a virtual courtesy call on the SADC Executive Secretary, Her Excellency Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax.
The Regional Director underscored the need for UNICEF to continue working with SADC and enhance the existing cooperation in a number of areas for the growth of children in the region, including in nutrition, water and sanitation, education, health, social protection, and COVID-19 response.
On her part, the SADC Executive Secretary welcomed and congratulated Mr. Fall on his appointment to the region, and assured him of continued collaboration and cordial relations between SADC and UNICEF. She also thanked Regional Director for the continued support from UNICEF. She further welcomed the proposal for enhanced cooperation, and emphasized that, such the cooperation needs countries' specific context when developing programmes for SADC Member States, considering that SADC Member States are at different levels of economic development, and that the situation in one Member State may not necessarily prevail in another Member State.
The Parties agreed to consider signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), that will clearly stipulate areas of cooperation and ways of cooperating. It was further agreed that the MoU be accompanied by a short to long-term result-based action plan. To this effect a joint technical team with representations from both parties, will work on the MoU and the result-based plan of action, to be considered by the two Parties at the next meeting, within a week, given the urgent nature of the situation, especially on the COVID-19 response.
Her Excellency Dr. Tax was accompanied by Dr. Willy Amisi, Senior Program Officer (Health and Nutrition); Ms Pontsho Sepoloane, Senior Technical Advisor (Nutrition); Mr. Maxwell Mkumba, Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of the Executive Secretary; and Mr. Mojakisane Mathaha, Planning & Budget Support Officer in the Directorate of Policy Planning and Resource Mobilisation, and Mr. Peter Mabaka, Assistant Public Relations Officer.
Mr. Fall was accompanied by Mr. Bo Viktor Nylund, Deputy Regional Director for ESARO; Dr. Joan Matji, UNICEF Country Representative designate for Botswana; Ms. Sarah Ng'inja, Acting Country Representative for Botswana; and Mr. Abubakar Sultan, Regional Principal Advisor.