At the current Council of Ministers meeting of the Southern African Development Community, taking place in Tanzania, Namibia relinquished the chairmanship to the host country. The meeting is hosted by the Government of Tanzania, in preparation of leading the regional group for the next year. Tanzania last hosted this meeting sixteen years ago.
On Tuesday this week, the departing chair of the Council of Ministers, Hon Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah of Namibia, released her position to the incoming chair, Hon Palamagamba Kabudi of Tanzania.
The Council of Ministers meet every year just before the SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government. The summit starts this Saturday, 17 August 2019, in Dar es Salaam.
In his first address as the new chairperson, Hon Kabudi took his colleagues back through a nostalgic tour to the years when African liberation was in its infancy. The Tanzanian foreign minister sketched the often-underestimated role his country played in hosting representatives of various national liberation organisations.
Acknowledging the tremendous task ahead of SADC, Palamagamba extended the Council of Ministers' gratitude to the guidance provided by the Namibian President, HE Dr Hage Geingob, and the support he enjoyed from his Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Nandi-Ndaitwah.
"We have heard her submission on what SADC has been able to achieve for the past year, we are committed to build on your achievement while advancing our aspiration for this year. As the incoming Chair of the Council of Ministers, The United Republic of Tanzania assumes these responsibilities with great honour, humility and gratitude. We are aware of the responsibilities ahead and we are ready to fulfill them with your support and the support of the SADC Secretariat," he said.
His fellow ministers he reminded of the new industrialisation drive that motivates SADC member states, saying "As Chair of the Council of Ministers, we are set to operationalize the [industrialisation] theme with your assistance and cooperation. This region needs industrial development for us to transform our economies, to enhance economic growth, to create more jobs and reduce poverty."
"According to the Ease of Doing Business Index 2019 released by the World Bank, five SADC countries are in the top 10 African countries that have improved their way of doing business. The rest are still required to do more to attract business and investment. We have in place the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap; we need to access how far we have mainstreamed it in our specific initiatives. We still need to engage and dialogue with the private sector in the light of their role for our sustainable industrial development," he stated.