The Executive Secretary of SADC, Her Excellency Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax on 23rd January, 2020 paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Finance and Economic Development of the Republic of Botswana, Hon. Dr. Thapelo Matsheka, MP.
H.E. Dr. Tax Congratulated Hon. Dr Matsheka on his appointment as Minister of Finance and Economic Development, and as such becoming a member of the SADC Council of Ministers which oversees the implementation of SADC policies and the execution of SADC Programmes; and a member of the Ministerial Taskforce on Regional Economic Integration and also the Committee of SADC Ministers of Finance and Investment, which are key in driving economic integration and the transformation and industrialisation of SADC economies.
The Executive Secretary also commended the Republic of Botswana for the strategic role that it continues to play in SADC, not only as a host to the SADC Secretariat, but also through its contribution to SADC objectives and aspirations. On this note, she expressed gratitude to the Government of Botswana for allocating 19 hectares of land for the construction of the Regional Logistics Depot, at Rasase village, which is aimed at supporting regional peace operations.
On the financing of SADC regional programmes, H.E. Dr Tax appreciated the support granted by International Cooperating Partners (ICPs) to SADC regional integration programmes, and highlighted the need for a sustainable source of financing SADC programmes through, among others, the operationalisation of the recently approved SADC Resource Mobilisation Framework. Noting that the revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP 2015-2020) will expire this year, the SADC Executive Secretary informed the Minister that SADC has embarked on a consultative process to develop the post 2020 Agenda, which will include the SADC Vision 2050 and RISDP 2020-2030, and called upon Botswana to effectively participate in this critical process, which will guide the future direction of SADC.
On his part, Hon. Dr. Matsheka thanked the SADC Executive Secretary for the courtesy call and pledged continued commitment of his Ministry, as the coordinating Ministry of SADC activities, to support the SADC development and regional integration agenda. Hon. Dr. Thapelo Matsheka said Botswana believes in multilateralism and strong global partnerships as an effective approach for its national economic growth. In this regard, the Minister pledged Botswana’s commitment to the SADC Industrialisation agenda and support to infrastructure development, increased regional trade coordination and sustainable peace and security in the SADC region.
During the meeting the Executive Secretary was accompanied by the Director of Finance, Investment and Customs at the SADC Secretariat, Mr Sadwick Mtonakutha, and the Executive Assistant to the Executive Secretary, Ms. Kelly Moichubedi. The Minister was accompanied by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Dr Wilfred J. Mandlebe; the Deputy Secretary for Macro Economic Policy who is also the Acting SADC National Contact Point, Mr. Kelapile Ndobano; the Director for International Economic Policy Coordination, Ms. Masego Mogodu; and other officials.