WINDHOEK - The Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Council of Ministers, which started yesterday in Windhoek, will deliberate on a wide range of issues, including progress towards the implementation of priority regional initiatives.
Also on the agenda is the approval of the budget to coordinate the implementation of identified action plans.
Executive director in Namibia’s Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, Selma Ashipala-Musavyi, said the main issue on the meeting’s agenda is the 2019/2020 budget for the Sadc Secretariat, which will be discussed during the meeting of the finance committee today.
Allocation of adequate financial resources to coordinate the implementation of agreed regional activities, programmes and projects is critical in ensuring that the integration agenda of southern Africa is a success.
“Another crucial task during this meeting is to look at the budget of the Secretariat and recommend it to Council for approval. We should make a meaningful contribution through our activities to ensure that programmes and projects that are budgeted for, are implemented accordingly to realise the aspirations of the Sadc we want,” she maintained.
As a regional economic community, it is thus important to reiterate that effective implementation will bring congregants closer to achieving the agenda of regional integration, which would in turn lead to the Africa “We Want” as per the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
This is in light of the fact that more than 70 percent of the Sadc budget comes from international cooperating partners — a situation which compromises the ownership and sustainability of the regional agenda.
In this regard, the 2019 /2020 Sadc budget the Council of Ministers will discuss is expected to consider alternative financing modalities that will allow the region to take full control of its development plan. These modalities include the operationalisation of the proposed Sadc Regional Development Fund, as well as the finalisation of the development of the Sadc Resource Mobilisation Framework (Alternative Sources of Funding Sadc Regional Programmes).
Other issues to be discussed that she mentioned are the various developmental and social issues in the region.
Ashipala-Musavyi said during the two days, the ministers are expected discuss issues of regional importance, consider a number of strategic documents and receive reports on the implementation of the priority areas of the Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan 2015-2020 (RISDP).
Council will also review the implementation of the 38th Sadc Summit, whose focus is on “Promoting Infrastructure Development and Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development”, the decisions from the last council, and approve the Sadc Secretariat’s budget for the year 2019/2020.
“We have to make sure that the council and summit decisions are implemented, especially the ones that talk to the theme of the 38th session regarding industrialisation,” she said.
The Council consists of ministers from each of the 16 member states, mostly from the ministries responsible for foreign affairs and international relations, economic planning or finance, and meets twice a year in March and August.
Hence, she revealed all the 16 ministers have confirmed their attendance.
Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, the Namibian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, will in her capacity as the current Chairperson of the Sadc Council of Ministers host the meeting with an official opening session on Friday.
The Council of Ministers oversees the functioning and development of Sadc, and ensures that policies and decisions are implemented.
Moreover, she emphasised that one of the key priorities is industrialisation, through which the region will achieve sustained economic growth and sustainable development.
“It is also a proven effective platform to create youth employment and bring about prosperity. This noble objective of youth empowerment can only be achieved if member states formulate deliberate policies to address youth unemployment, job creation and training in related economic sectors,” she stressed.
2019-03-12 09:30:00 6 months ago