The SADC-Council of Non-Governmental Organisations (SADC-CNGO) Executive Director, Mr. Glenn Farred paid a courtesy call on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Executive Secretary, Her Excellency Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax on 10th October 2019, in Gaborone, Botswana, to formally introduce himself following his appointment in May 2019.
The SADC-CNGO is a regional umbrella body of NGOs operating in all SADC countries with the aim of facilitating effective and meaningful engagement between civil society and SADC institutions at both national and regional levels.
Mr. Farred thanked the SADC Executive Secretary for the opportunity accorded to the SADC-CNGO to visit the Secretariat. He said the cooperation between the Secretariat and SADC-CNGO is within the framework of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two organisations, which has seen the SADC-CNGO participating in several SADC processes including the development of a SADC mechanism for engagement with Non-State Actors, and the development of SADC Vision 2050, drafting of the SADC Regional Poverty Reduction Framework, as well as in designing the SADC Regional Poverty Observatory mechanism.
On the formulation of the Non-State Actors Engagement Mechanism, Mr. Farred confirmed SADC-CNGO participation in the process, and highlighted that the mechanism is necessary to close the existing gaps in the engagement between the Non-State Actors and SADC at both regional and national levels.
The SADC Executive Secretary congratulated Mr. Farred for his appointment and assured him of SADC commitment to continue working with SADC-CNGO. Dr Tax also called on the SADC-CNGO to facilitate 'positive partnership' between the SADC citizens and governments in the region. For this to be achieved, civil society and governments need to harness each other's positive attributes and shun negative engagements.
The two parties also discussed the outcome of the 39th SADC Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government, and the recent launch of the SADC Business Council, and re-affirmed the importance of the two mechanisms on SADC's engagement with civil society on one hand, and with business on the other, and that they need to be synchronised in the future.
They noted that the SADC Business Council was launched in August 2019, with a view to streamline the role of the private sector in the technological and economic transformation of SADC Member States through industrialisation.
Dr Tax and Mr. Farred reiterated their commitment to further engage and to continue cooperating in advancing the regional development and integration agenda.
The Executive Secretary was accompanied by the Senior Policy Advisor, Mr. Maxwell Mkumba; and Messrs Mukundi Mutasa from the Office of the Executive Secretary.