The Executive Secretary of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Her Excellency Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax on 29th November, 2018 visited the SADC Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre (RPTC) in Harare, Republic of Zimbabwe where she held discussions with the Centre Management and later, addressed Civil Military Course participants.
H.E. Dr Tax commended the RPTC Management, led by Colonel Valentine Khumalo for the determination demonstrated to the full implementation of the Centre’s 2017 -2021 Strategic Plan. On this note, H.E. Dr Tax noted the importance and the strategic role played by the RPTC and the need to capacitate the Centre to deliver on its mandate fullest in designing, providing and coordinating peacekeeping and peace support trainings in the SADC region and pledged continued support to the Centre.
Addressing Civil-Military Course participants, H.E. Dr Tax expressed optimism that the knowledge acquired by the participants will transform them and enable the participants to discharge their duties more effectively. H.E. Dr Tax underscored the need for the participants to apply the knowledge acquired and impart it to others and contribute to the sustenance of peace and security in the region, particularly as SADC assumes its peacekeeping responsibilities at continental level under the African Standby Force from 1st January 2019.
H.E. Dr Tax encouraged the participants to maintain the professional network of friendship created during the two-week duration of the course to promote information sharing and collaboration. The Executive Secretary said was delighted to noted that, out of the 24 Course participants, half are women who also hold high positions in their respective Member States. She added that, such a gender balance is worth sustaining to attain gender equality and women empowerment, in line with the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development.
In his Vote of Thanks on behalf of the Course participants, Mr Jacques Koiu Gbilimou from the Citizens Engagement Platform Seychelles (CEPS), a national platform for Civil Society in Seychelles, said the participants the pleased to be among the Course participants that the Executive Secretary of SADC took time to visit and address during the course of the training. He promised to use skills acquired to strengthen peace efforts in work on his return home.
Accompanied by the Director of Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs at the SADC Secretariat, Mr Jorge Cardoso and other Secretariat Staff, the Executive Secretary was conducted on a tour of the Centre facilities to appreciate its functions, development plans and challenges.
The SADC RPTC is a Regional training centre of excellence under the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs of the SADC Secretariat and the centre derives its mandate from the Strategic Indicative Plan of the Organ (SIPO), focusing on building SADC capacity at Regional level to participate in peacekeeping and peace keeping operations by fulfilling training needs for SADC Standby Force. The Centre endeavours to address SADC training needs for deployment in line with United Nations and African Union Standards.