22 August 2017

Southern Africa: Comoros Admitted Into SADC

Windhoek — As part of its landmark resolution, the just-ended 37th Ordinary Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit of Heads of State and Government has admitted the Union of Comoros as a member state.

The Summit took place from August 18-20 in Pretoria, South Africa.

Comoros brings the membership of the regional bloc to 16.

Comoros and Burundi have for the past years expressed interest in joining SADC. However, Burundi's application is still on the table.

Channel Africa's Nhlanhla Mahlangu reported yesterday that the heads of state and government reiterated their collective resolve to promote peace and stability in the region.

At the Summit, Namibia was conferred as deputy chair of SADC.

President Hage Geingob thanked the member states for the conferment.

Geingob said there are some legitimate expectations among the peoples of SADC member states that the presence of SADC should be felt among the communities through implementation of development projects, such as infrastructure, among others.

"We should, therefore, continue to put the triple challenges of poverty eradication, job creation and inclusive growth at the centre of our developmental agenda. As we develop and refine our policy responses, let us be guided by the notion as postulated by Joseph Stiglitz that inclusive and shared growth is a policy choice," he told delegates.

Therefore, he noted, whether it is industrialization, financial sector deepening, promotion of the blue economy, or any other matter, member states must be inclusive in their approach.

He said Namibia believes that inclusivity spells peace and harmony, whereas exclusivity spells conflict and disaster.

He urged SADC member states that development must continue to be people- centered and home grown.

To meet these expectations, he said, it is of paramount importance that they constantly demonstrate their commitment to the ideals of the founding giants of SADC.

Furthermore, Geingob said member states must renew their commitment to honour their financial obligations to the organization, and implement decisions and maintain unity.

He commended President Eduardo Dos Santos of the Republic of Angola, and the people of Angola, for taking the next step in solidifying their democracy.

"We have taken note of the smooth transition at party level, which once against demonstrates that inner party democracy is alive and at work in parties of former liberation movements. We wish the people of Angola well with the general elections slated for the 23rd of August."

Geingob further noted that the president of Botswana, Seretse Khama Ian Khama, who is stepping down next year, will be missed.

"We are going to miss him, we cannot allow him to retire at such a young age. We will, therefore, from time to time call on your wisdom in our quest to refine processes, systems and institutions in our development community, as well as to deepen integration through industrialization and promotion of increased cross-border trade and regional value chains," he said.

Geingob extended his kind invitation to SADC member states to come to Namibia for the 38th SADC Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government in 2018.

He said the people of Namibia are looking forward to welcoming them to the land of the brave.

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