WINDHOEK - The 38th SADC Heads of State and Government Summit in Namibia will this week pass its verdict on the mooted establishment of the SADC University of Transformation.
Chairperson of the SADC Council of Ministers, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah confirmed this yesterday when briefing the media on the outcome of the council’s meetings held on Monday and yesterday.
Proposed by eSwatini King Mswati III in 2016, the operationalisation of the university is an issue that the SADC ministers of higher education have been preoccupied with since then.
Nandi-Ndaitwah, who is Namibia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, said the SADC ministers of higher education have been deliberating on the matter, considering all the implications and how best and efficient the institution can be put up.
She said the issue was discussed at length during the council meetings this week and proposals to this effect will be submitted to the summit for a decision.
“Of course, internationally, we know that there are two ways of establishing institutions like universities - you can have a university which is a standing institution like the University of Namibia but you can also have a virtual university like the one of the African Union,” she explained the possible modus operandi of the mooted varsity.
“With the help of technology the courses can be conducted online, and these are the two models that the council has deliberated on and now there will be a submission to the summit and the summit will take a decision,” she said.
“One of the decisions taken was that whatever course to be conducted should be in the three SADC official languages, namely English, French and Portuguese,” she said.
Nandi-Ndaitwah said another issue to be discussed at the summit is continental integration.
The vehicles for this include the tripartite and continental free trade area, implementation of free movement of persons in Africa, the AU institutional reforms and post-Cotonou Agreement.
She said the summit will also elect its chairperson and deputy chairperson, and the chairperson and deputy chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.
Also, she said the summit will receive a report of the Outgoing Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.
She said the summit will discuss the socio-economic situation in the region and the global economy.
Similarly, the summit will discuss issues of gender and development, food security and HIV and AIDS.
According to Nandi-Ndaitwah, the summit will also receive a Report on the Operationalisation of the 37th Summit Theme: Partnering with the Private Sector to Develop Industry and Value Chains, and approve the theme of the 38th SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government – Promoting Infrastructure.
Other issues on the agenda are development and youth empowerment for sustainable development; operationalisation of the SADC Regional Development Fund; and implementation of the Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap.