The meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Southern African Development Community was officially opened on 15th March, 2019 in Windhoek, Republic of Namibia to deliberate on key issues aimed at fostering regional economic growth and development, peace and security, and regional integration.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Chairperson of the Council who is also the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, in the Republic of Namibia, Honourable Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, reiterated the significance of implementing the 38th SADC Summit theme; “Promoting Infrastructure Development and Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development” adopted in August, 2018which focuses on infrastructure development and the empowerment of the youth.
On this point, Hon.Nandi-Ndaitwahthanked the SADC Secretariat for the progress it has made in the operationalisation of the theme, notably, the convening of the SADC Industrialisation Week in Windhoek, Namibia; SADC Youth Forum in Windhoek; SADC Youth in Fisheries and Aquaculture in Malawi; and the Southern African Internet Governance Forum, in South Africa.
The Chairperson of Council said it was pleasing to note that the SADC region continues to enjoy peace and tranquillity. She underscored the importance of peace and security in the SADC region and noted that the recent positive developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kingdom of Lesotho and Madagascar, indicate that the SADC region is on course to enter an era of sustained peace and stability.
In her remarks (linked), the SADC Executive Secretary, Her Excellency Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, expressed the commitment of the SADC Secretariat to continue to ensure the broad-based participation of the youth in socio-economic development processes, as part of the regional integration agenda and, in line with the 38th SADC Summit Theme.
On the upcoming elections in seven (7) SADC Member States, H.E. Dr Tax, urged Member States to support elections in Botswana, Malawi, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa to ensure the consolidation of democracy in these Member States. She extended gratitude to the SADC Chairperson, H.E. President Dr Hage G. Geingob of Namibia, and the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, H.E. President Edgar Chagwa Lungu of Zambia for their exemplary leadership to ensure adherence to the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections in the SADC region.
Both the Chairperson of Council of Ministers and the Executive Secretary took time in their remarks to extend their condolences to the people of Malawi and Mozambique for the loss of lives as a result of floods and cyclones that occurred recently and they expressed that SADC stands in solidarity with Malawi and Mozambique as the two Member States recover from the loss of lives and property.
Among other things, the two-day meeting of the Council of Ministers is expected to review the implementation of Council Decisions including, Comoros Accession to SADC; SADC Solidarity Conference with Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR)/Western Sahara; Implementation of Agenda 2063 in SADC; Status of Implementation of the 38th SADC Summit Theme; African Union Institutional Reforms; Formulation of the SADC Post-2020 Agenda; and Post-Cotonou Partnership Agreement between the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union; Establishment of the Regional Natural Gas Committee; Operationalisation of the SADC University of Transformation; Implementation of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap; and the Transformation of the SADC Parliamentary Forum into a Parliament.
Download speeches below;