CABINET has agreed not to pay the N$30 million annual subscription to the Southern African Development Community for 2018/19 because Namibia will host the 38th heads of state and government summit in August this year.
Deputy information minister Engel Nawatiseb told a media briefing in Windhoek yesterday that as the summit host and incoming SADC chair, Namibia will not pay the annual contribution that was due this month.
Namibia will take over the SADC chair from South Africa this year.
"Namibia should enhance national preparations to host the 38th SADC heads of state and government summit to ensure a smooth takeover as chair in August 2018," Nawatiseb said.
According to the deputy minister, the executive secretary of SADC, Stergomena Lawrence Tax, will brief President Hage Geingob, as the incoming chairperson on preparations for hosting the summit towards the end of May or beginning of June this year.
"Namibia should engage South Africa and the secretariat to ensure a smooth transition of the chairmanship," he said.
Nawatiseb added that Cabinet also agreed that the country must continue supporting SADC's position on the African Union's institutional reforms, and continue participating in the talks on the reforms to ensure consistency, and to strengthen the functions of the union. Local weekly newspaper Confidénte reported in February that the summit would address the region's 2018 goal to intensify efforts to deepen economic integration, as well as achieve sustainable development and stability.
The summit will also mark the first time that the newest member of SADC, the Union of Comoros, will participate at this high-level regional meeting.
The Comoros was formally admitted into the organisation at the 37th SADC summit, held in August last year in Pretoria, South Africa, which increased the membership of the regional group to 16.