The SADC Secretariat Directorates of Food Agriculture and Natural Resources and Social and Human Development on 11 August 2018 highlighted to the media the progress that the directorates made in the 2017/18 financial year.
The SADC Secretariat in collaboration with the Ministries of International Relations and Cooperation (MIRCO) and Information, Communication and Technology (MICT) of Namibia organised a series of media briefings on the margins of the 38th SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government. The objective of the Directorate’s Media briefings was to popularise implementation of SADC programmes, and the role played by Secretariat in implementing SADC programmes and Council decisions to the SADC citizens through the media.
The Director of Social and Human Development Ms Duduzile Simelane, told the media that, under her directorate a number of activities have been implemented in areas of HIV and AIDS, Health and Nutrition, Education and Skills Development and Employment, Labour and Youth which aim to provide education skills, health and other social dimensions for positive ripple effect on regional integration.
Ms Simelane said, among other things, the SADC Secretariat facilitated the implementation of the Global Fund supported HIV and AIDS cross border initiative – where health services were provided to mobile populations such as long distance truck drivers and sex workers to increase access to health services and improve health outcomes.
She informed the media that the SADC Secretariat developed a Regional Qualifications Framework (RQF) and supported Member States to align their national Frameworks to the RQF. In the same vein, Ms Simelane said, the SADC Secretariat continues to promote Technical and Vocational Education and Training in an effort to develop skills that are needed to drive industrial development.
In his presentation, the Director of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR) Mr Domingos Gove said the Directorate achieved 84% of its 2017/18 outputs, in fulfilment of its mandate of developing, promoting, coordinating and facilitating the harmonisation of policies and programmes to increase agricultural and natural resources production and productivity, and promote trade for food security and sustainable economic development.
Mr Gove said, to achieve its goals, a number of policies and strategies have been put in place citing, the establishment of the SADC Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Coordinating Centre to combat Illegal Unreported and Undeclared fishing which takes around US$500 million per year for the SADC region; adoption of the SADC Regional Aquaculture Strategy and Action Plan (2016-2026) to increase food security through aquaculture production; and the development of Trans-Frontier Conservation Areas (TFCA) Monitoring and Evaluation Framework to track progress of Member States in the implementation TFCA SADC programme.
On food security, he said, the situation in the region is good, but situations of food insecurity may occur in vulnerable communities in some SADC Member States and that food prices may increase with the shortage of food production.
He added that the Secretariat has been monitoring the prevalence of animal diseases in the region such as Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Rabies and crop pests and diseases, like Banana bunch top virus, lethal maize necrosis and the Fall armyworm which, from last year to date, has spread to 42 African countries, including 13 SADC Member States.