SADC must take stock

01 February 2021 | Africa

JEMIMA BEUKES



WINDHOEK

Namibia and other Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states should take stock of gaps which include a lack of skills as well as water and energy shortages which threaten integration and a common African future. This according to international relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, who added that the Covid-19 pandemic, which has wreaked havoc across the continent, has exposed the deep inequalities that continue to exist across Africa.

Speaking at the launch of the African Union-SADC national committee last week, Nandi-Ndaitwah said the pandemic has shown how far countries are from realising their developmental goals and responsibilities to citizens.

She added that the newly launched committee would therefore ensure that national policies remain guided by SADC member states and the AU to maintain good progress towards forging a common identity and sense of a common destiny amongst the countries and the people of Africa.

Strength in unity

“It remains, therefore, paramount that we continue to demonstrate the same measure of unity in ensuring the success of this committee as we have in the fight against Covid-19, for it is through this unity that we have found strength to continue implementing our regional programmes and projects for the betterment of our people,” she said.

Meanwhile, the executive director of the international relations ministry Penda Naanda said the region has made great strides despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic.

These achievements include new strategic policies that will lead the region over the next 30 years.

“As we launch the AU-SADC national committee, I encourage all of us to continue to embrace our partnerships and strengthen our solidarity through a bottom-up approach to ensure ownership of our regional frameworks,” he said.

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