20 August 2017

South Africa: SADC Pays Tribute to Presidents Dos Santos, Ian Khama

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has paid tribute to outgoing Presidents Eduardo Dos Santos of Angola and Botswana's Seretse Khama Ian Khama.

President Dos Santos of Angola is leaving after having serving his country since 1979.

In his closing remarks at the SADC summit on Sunday, President Zuma said President Dos Santos has been a key figure in SADC. He has been instrumental in pushing the regional integration agenda forward.

"We take this opportunity to thank him profoundly for his contribution to the liberation struggle in the region and his outstanding contribution to SADC. We wish him good health in his retirement," said President Zuma.

Angola is preparing to hold parliamentary elections on 23 August. The regional bloc has wished Angola well in the upcoming elections.

The organisation also bid farewell to President Khama of Botswana, who is leaving office in April 2018. The neighbouring country is expected to go to the polls in 2019. However, as per the tradition of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), President Khama is expected to step down and hand over power to Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi, who will lead the party in the 2019 elections.

"We thank President Khama for his active involvement and leadership in SADC. We will always remember his leadership of SADC during 2015/16. We hope that even during his retirement, he will continue to contribute to the work of SADC," said President Zuma.

The 37th summit, which was held under the theme, 'Partnering with the Private Sector in developing Industry and Regional Value Chains', ended in Tshwane on Sunday.

The summit called on member states to implement critical programmes of the organisation, including the conduct of regular democratic elections.

The summit saw the admission of the Union of the Comoros to the organisation, bringing the total membership of the SADC family to 16 member states.

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