16 August 2018

Southern Africa: SADC Urged to Lobby for Gender Parity

WINDHOEK - Chairperson of the SADC Council of Ministers, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah has urged member states to continuously intensify their advocacy and lobbying campaigns on gender parity as per the provisions in the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development

SADC wants a 50/50 parliamentary representation comprising 50 percent women and 50 percent male parliamentarians.

Nandi-Ndaitwah said this on Tuesday at a media briefing on the outcome of the council's meeting held on Monday and Tuesday.

The SADC Council of Ministers oversees the functioning and development of the SADC community and ensures that policies are properly implemented.

The council consists of ministers from each of the SADC members usually from the ministries of foreign affairs, economic planning, or finance, and it meets twice a year in February or March and immediately prior to the summit in August or September.

Nandi-Ndaitwah, who is Namibia's Deputy Prime Minister and also the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, urged member states to create a conducive environment and supporting structures for women to join and stay in politics and positions of decision-making.

Nandi-Ndaitwah further urged member states to commit to the regional priority power projects aimed at enhancing security of energy supply, take necessary measures to enhance packaging of projects and create an enabling environment for energy sector reforms in order to attract investors.

She urged SADC members to collaborate with the private sector to identify, package and attract investment and implement regional value chain projects.

Additionally, Nandi-Ndaitwah said the council endorsed the 38th SADC theme proposed by Namibia, in its capacity as the incoming chair of SADC of "Promoting Infrastructure Development and Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development", for recommendation to the summit.

Also, she said the council noted progress on the implementation of the resolutions of the ministerial retreat titled "The SADC We Want."

In this regard, she said the council directed the SADC Secretariat to expedite the process of completing the assignments of reviewing existing institutional arrangements within SADC and developing an effective mechanism to monitor and ensure compliance to SADC Protocols, other legal instruments and regional commitments at member state level.

She said the council also directed the SADC Secretariat to finalise and operationalise the Private Sector Engagement Mechanism (PSEM) in collaboration with regional and national private sector associations.

Nandi-Ndaitwah said the council furthermore directed the secretariat to submit the comprehensive review report on the implementation of the Revised RISDP 2015-2020 during its meeting to be held in August 2019.

She implored SADC to focus on implementing activities that are within the approved Implementation Frameworks of the Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan 2015-2020 (RISDP) and the Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ (SIPO).

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