President Danny Faure was the guest of honour at the official opening of the 41st Plenary Assembly Session of the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) held for the first time in Seychelles this morning.
The symposium is being hosted by the Seychelles National Assembly in collaboration with the SADC secretariat under the guided theme "Harnessing the Demographic Dividend in SADC through Investment in Youth", with the participation of delegates from SADC PF region countries. The Forum was held at the SAVOY Resort.
During his official opening address, President Faure, in the presence of dignitaries, symposium participants and invited guests, thanked the Parliamentary Forum together with the Seychelles National Assembly for having chosen Seychelles as the venue for such a significant Plenary Assembly Session.
Addressing the delegates present, President Faure averred that Africa is undergoing massive transformation, and that despite being home to 7 of the world's 10 largest growing economies, the continent has many developmental challenges to overcome.
"In the context of globalization, regional integration is imperative for Africa. But effective implementation of regional frameworks will only take root in healthy and democratic environments where economic management is transparent and accountable. Building this kind of political and economic security requires that we think and act regionally and continentally in the spirit of solidarity and shared commitment," stressed President Faure.
He highlighted that the globalized world economy demands that SADC countries act as organized regions to give the best chance of turning hope into tangible improvements in the quality of lives of African population - including the reinforcement of the values of democracy and good governance.
"Seychelles' relationship and cooperation with SADC draws its strength from our collective solidarity. These democratic values, nurtured by a common purpose for progress: peace, security, freedom, social justice, and prosperity for the peoples of Southern Africa," said President Faure.
"In order to achieve an effective and transparent regional integration process, we purposefully need to ensure the meaningful participation of the people and institutions of SADC. Parliament is the embodiment of representative democracy and its untapped potential to deepen SADC's regional integration should be appreciated and recognised. The recognition we can give to the SADC Parliamentary Forum for its contribution in advancing the region's democracy, governance peace and development agenda is to earnestly consider its quest for transformation into a Regional Parliament" he added.
Before officially declaring the symposium open, the President reiterated Seychelles' commitment to the vision, objectives and programmes of SADC towards regional integration. "We are undertaking the process of regional integration in order to achieve strong, sustainable economic growth and to become major and effective actors in world governance," declared President Faure.
During the opening ceremony, guests present also heard statements from the Host Speaker, Hon. Patrick Pillay, who delivered the Welcome Statement. The President of the SADC Parliamentary Forum and Speaker of the National Assembly of Angola, Honourable Fernando de Piedade Dias dos Santos, also delivered his remarks, while the Chairperson of the Regional Women's Parliamentary Caucus (RWPC), Dr Jessie Kabwila, conveyed her message of support on behalf of RWPC.
Also present for the official opening was the President of the SADC Parliamentary Forum and Speaker of the National Assembly of Angola, Honourable Fernando de Piedade Dias dos Santos, the SADC PF Vice President, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, The Host Speaker, Hon. Patrick Pillay and fellow Speakers of SADC National Parliaments, Leader of the Opposition of Seychelles, Hon.Wavel Ramkalawan, Leader of Government Business of Seychelles, Hon. Charles Decommarmond, members of the Seychelles Cabinet of Ministers, Chairperson of the Regional Women's Parliamentary Caucus, Dr Jessie Kabwila, Honourable Members of Parliament from SADC National Parliaments, the Secretary General of SADC PF, Dr Esau Chiviya, high level invitees and observers and staff of the SADC PF Secretariat.
To view FULL Video of Speech and photo gallery please visit the State House Facebook Page via below link: https://www.facebook.com/StateHouseSey/
FULL Text of Speech available via State House Website: http://www.statehouse.gov.sc/speeches.php?news_id=3510