The SADC Secretariat has appointed three of the four directors to head the four main pillars of its new structure at the headquarters in Gaborone. This is part of the restructuring process that started five years ago when institutions were centralised for better management. The directors were appointed to assume office in January 2005, and the new structure will be fully operational once the fourth director (Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment) has been appointed. The three directors are profiled here.
Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR)
Margaret Milley Nyirenda, Director
The FANR cluster comprises the following areas of cooperation: food security, agricultural research and training, crops, livestock production and animal disease control, environment and land management, inland and marine fisheries, forestry and wildlife. Most of these are related to agriculture and influence its performance.
Margaret Nyirenda has extensive experience in management policy formulation and implementation, and project evaluation. Her work experience began in 1977 and she worked for the government of Malawi for 20 years in various ministries, including agriculture.
She was senior economist in the department of Economic Planning and Development from 1984 to 1989, when she became chief executive of the Malawi Mudzi Fund, a pilot scheme which later merged into the Malawi Rural Finance Company, covering the entire country.
From 1992 to 1997, Nyirenda was deputy chief economist in the Ministry of Finance and chief economist of the agriculture, food security and nutrition sections in the Department of Economic Planning and Development.
She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from the University of Malawi, holds a post-graduate diploma in Production and Development Economics from the University of Wales, a Master of Science degree in Agriculture Economics from the same university, and a Masters degree in Public Policy and Management from Harvard University in the USA.
Nyirenda joined the SADC Secretariat in 1997 and worked as Senior Economist and Desk Officer for Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources sector until March 2002. After the restructuring of SADC, she became Supervisor (acting director) of FANR until her appointment as the substantive director.
Nyirenda was born in Malawi in 1955.
Infrastructure and Services
Remigious Makumbe, Director
The Infrastructure and Services directorate encompasses the energy, tourism, transport, communications and meteorology, and water sectors. The development of infrastructure and services is critical for promoting and sustaining regional economic development, trade and investment.
Remigious Makumbe is an engineer who began his career at the National Railways of Zimbabwe where he remained for 15 years, holding several positions including acting as an assistant general manager for operations.
He then moved to the Southern African Transport and Communications Commission (SATCC) technical unit in Mozambique where he was Railway Technical Expert. While at SATCC, he was involved in the formulation of the SADC Protocol on Transport, Communications and Meteorology, and the development of the SADC Transport Investment Act.
Makumbe holds a Master of Policy Studies degree from the Universities of Fort Hare and Zimbabwe, a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Economics and Transport Economics from the University of South Africa, and a Bachelor of Science Honours in Electrical Engineering from the University of Zimbabwe.
He joined the Southern African Railways Association in 1998 as Executive Director and coordinated initiatives to establish a cost-effective railway service for the SADC region.
Makumbe was born in Zimbabwe in 1955.
Social and Human Development and Special Programmes
Stephen Sianga, Director
This cluster covers areas of human resources development, health, employment and labour, and culture, information and sport. It also caters for special programmes. SADC member states accord priority to social and human development in view of its crucial role both as a factor and as a broad measure of development.
Stephen Sianga served as director at the National Commission for Development Planning in Zambia between 1989 and 1995, where he coordinated the development of Zambia's third national development plan on human and social development in education, health and social welfare.
From 1995 until 2002 he was Special Advisor and Senior Economist on human resource development at the SADC Secretariat. In 2003, he became Supervisor (acting director) of the SHDSP directorate, before his appointment as director in January 2005.
Sianga has extensive experience in social and human development through professional attachments with various international organisations such as World Health Organisation, International Labour Organisation and United States Agency for International Development.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Development Studies, and other post-graduate qualifications in human resource development, management training and population planning. He has a Masters degree in Economic Management and Strategic Planning from Berlin, Germany.
Sianga was born in Zambia in 1955.
Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (TIFI)
Director to be appointed
The TIFI cluster comprises of trade and industry, mining, finance and investment. These sectors are intrinsically interrelated and can easily influence development and poverty reduction in the region.