The President of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu Hassan has called for accelerated action to drive the integration agenda of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region so that citizens can reap the full benefits of regional integration.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan made the call on 25 October 2022 at the State House in Dar-es-Salaam during a courtesy call by the SADC Executive Secretary, His Excellency Mr. Elias Mpedi Magosi.President Samia Suluhu Hassan said while the region has developed instruments in the form of strategies, policies, and protocols to support SADC regional integration, the time has come for the region to accelerate the implementation of these instruments. On this note, the President called for increased regional cooperation in removing barriers to trade and regional connectivity through rail, road, and digital infrastructure to facilitate a seamless flow of trade in the SADC region.

Regarding industrial development in the region, the President urged the SADC Secretariat to support Member States to boost their production capacity to reduce dependency on the export of raw materials and start realizing the benefits of trading in finished products.

On peace and security, the President said terrorism poses an immediate and long-term threat to peace, stability, and development of the SADC region. The President pledged the country’s commitment to the implementation of the SADC Regional Counter-Terrorism Strategy and underscored the important role of the SADC Regional Counter Terrorism Centre (RCTC) which the United Republic of Tanzania offered to host to coordinate regional counter-terrorism efforts.

The President expressed gratitude to SADC for the construction of a statue of Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, founding President of the United Republic of Tanzania and one of the Founders of SADC, at the African Union Commission Peace and Security Building in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in recognition of his contribution to the liberation struggle in southern Africa. The President also thanked SADC for adopting Kiswahili as the fourth working language of SADC during Ministerial, Council, and Summit meetings.

The SADC Executive Secretary commended the President of the United Republic of Tanzania for her leadership and support of regional peace and security, noting that the United Republic of Tanzania is one of the Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) under the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and has contributed personnel and another military capability to the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM).

His Excellency Magosi pledged the Secretariat’s commitment to the implementation of the regional agenda espoused in the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020-2030, with a particular focus on high-impact regional projects and initiatives. The Executive Secretary added that the Secretariat is in the process of developing a tool to measure key milestones of regional integration. He also informed the President that the Secretariat is developing a database of value chains based on the comparative advantage of the Member States.

The Executive Secretary took the opportunity to symbolically present the nine volumes of the Hashim Mbita publication to the President. The publication provides a comprehensive record of the liberation struggles in the SADC region which is helpful for the present and future generations to remember the sacrifices of the SADC Founders.

The courtesy call by the SADC Executive Secretary to the President United Republic of Tanzania is part of his ongoing engagements and consultations with SADC Heads of State and Government to tap into their knowledge on achieving deeper SADC regional integration and development, underpinned by sustained peace and security

Since assuming office in September 2021, H.E. Mr. Magosi has paid courtesy calls on Heads of State of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kingdom of Eswatini, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

During the visit to the United Republic of Tanzania, the SADC Executive Secretary, accompanied by Director of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs, Mr. Jorge Cardoso, and Director of the Policy, Planning and Resource Mobilisation, Dr. Mubita Luwabelwa, held discussions with Hon. Dr. Stergomena Lawrence tax, Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania.

SADC Executive Secretary also visited the SADC Regional Counter Terrorism Centre and the Medical Stores Department (MSD). SADC and MSD signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Provision of the SADC Pooled Procurement Services (SPPS) for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies on 9th October 2018.

Source:NamibianEconomist

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