SANF 22 no 15 – by Clarkson Mambo
The recent visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo by the new SADC Executive Secretary, His Excellency Elias Magosi is part of a series of working visits to consult with Heads of State on advancing regional integration.
Since his appointment to the helm of the Secretariat in August 2021, H.E Magosi has been to five Southern African Development Community (SADC) Member States – the DRC, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa – in addition to Botswana where he is based.
These six SADC Member States that have so far been visited by Magosi make up the SADC Double Troika, which is currently spearheading all political and policy decisions on regional development and integration in the period 2021-22.
The SADC Double Troika comprises of the SADC Summit Troika and the SADC Summit Troika of the Organ. These positions rotate among member states.
The SADC Summit that is responsible for the overall policy direction and control of functions of the Community, is the supreme policy-making institution of SADC.
The SADC Summit Troika is a representation of the full SADC Summit and is currently made up of Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera (chair), DRC President Félix Tshisekedi (incoming chair), and Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi (immediate previous chair).
The SADC Summit Troika of the Organ that is responsible for promoting peace and security in the SADC region comprises of President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa (chair), President Hage Geingob of Namibia (incoming chair), and President Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana (immediate previous chair).
The SADC Summit and the Organ Troika are separate, and the chairperson of the Organ does not simultaneously hold the chair of Summit and vice versa.
During Magosi’s recent trip to the DRC on 11 April, President Tshisekedi said regional integration is key to sustainable development, adding that SADC leaders remain fully committed to provide the much needed political will to ensure that the Secretariat is able to effectively discharge its duties.
President Tshisekedi commended H.E Magosi for his work, saying he should continue to be proactive as well as propose new and innovative ideas to make sure that citizens of the region fully enjoy the benefits of belonging to a shared community in southern Africa.
“I can see you are very ambitious,” President Tshisekedi said to Magosi, adding that the Secretariat can “count on the support of the DRC because your success is our success as a region.”
Based in Gaborone, Botswana, the Secretariat is the principal executive institution of SADC responsible for the day to day running of the integration agenda as well as strategic planning, facilitation and coordination and management of all SADC activities, programmes and projects.
In this regard, in all his regional visits to SADC leaders, Magosi has appraised the leaders on the operations of the Secretariat and progress being made to deepen regional integration.
A number of initiatives aimed at driving socio-economic development by deepening integration are being implemented by SADC and these include SADC Vision 2050 and the Revised SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020-2030 and SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap (2015-2063).
The SADC Vision 2050 envisions a peaceful, inclusive, competitive, middle-to-high income industrialised region, where all citizens enjoy sustainable economic wellbeing, justice and freedom.
The RISDP 2020-2030 is a SADC plan which prioritises regional integration issues of infrastructure development, industrial development and market integration, social and human capital development and other cross cutting issues including environment, climate change, disaster risk management, gender and youth empowerment.
To ensure the region achieves its longstanding goals of united, peaceful and prosperous community, Magosi has urged SADC Member States to sign and ratify all relevant protocols and agreements that facilitate deeper regional integration.
Magosi has also urged international cooperation partners to align their support to the SADC Vision 2050 and the Revised RISDP 2020-2030.
Alignment of support to the two regional documents will ensure the smooth implementation of agreed activities and programmes, thereby promoting socio-economic development and deeper integration.
In addition to appraising the leaders on progress being made to advance regional integration, Magosi has also sought guidance on how to accelerate the integration agenda in southern Africa.
The leaders said the Secretariat should continue to be proactive and come up with innovative ideas. It was also important for the Secretariat to be accountabile and transparent to ensure trust and good governance.
Another key concern raised by the leaders is the need for SADC to increase its visibility since most citizens are unaware of the benefits and opportunities of belonging to a shared community in southern Africa.
As the new SADC Executive Secretary, Magosi is expected to visit more SADC countries as he continues to tap into SADC leaders’ knowledge and experience. sardc.net
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