More must be done - Nandi-Ndaitwah

15 August 2019 | International

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) needs to do more in order to promote sustainable and equitable socio-economic integration.

This is according to outgoing chairperson of the SADC Council of Ministers, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah.

Namibia's international relations minister made these remarks while handing over the chairpersonship to Tanzania's foreign affairs minister Palamagamba Kabudi at the 39th SADC summit on Tuesday in Dar es Salaam.

Nandi-Ndaitwah said there is no doubt that the region has made some progress in terms of the socio-economic agenda.

However, economic integration, including industrialisation, remains at the core of SADC's integration agenda and was central to the diversification of regional economic growth.

Nandi-Ndaitwah said SADC needs to prioritise trade facilitation, including road infrastructure.

She noted that the region also needs to find ways to reduce transport costs and transit delays, in order to prepare it to benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Nandi-Ndaitwah further stressed the region has faced serious climatic challenges and there is thus a need for strong early warning mechanisms, as well as mitigation and adaptation measures, to cope with the impact of climate change.

“The SADC secretariat continues to play an instrumental role in our work to deliver on our regional agenda, in an effort to improve the living standards of our people in all spheres,” she said.

Nandi-Ndaitwah said SADC is in the process of realigning its strategic plans and renewing its priorities, to ensure they are relevant to the challenges faced by the region and continental aspirations.

She also called on SADC to ensure the full implementation of the SADC Solidarity Conference with Western Sahara and walk its people to self-determination.

NAMPA