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The President, Mokgweetsi Masisi last week gave his maiden speech at the regional body – Southern African Development Community (SADC) head of states summit that was held in Windhoek, Namibia.
Masisi, who began by pledging “unwavering commitment” to the SADC regional integration agenda also said that he was aware that tremendous progress has been made in the areas of trade, peace and security.
He also noted that he is aware that the regional body is grappling with financial constraints and impediments to resource mobilization.
“I am informed that work is ongoing to develop a resource mobilization framework as well as other initiatives such as the creation of a fund to bridge the resource gap. It is for this reason that we must strengthen collaboration with regional and global development financing institutions, to fast-track infrastructure development in the region”, Masisi said.
Masisi, who took over as head of state in Botswana in April 2018 after retirement of former President Ian Khama said that there is work in progress to develop value chains for leather, soya beans, aquaculture, iron and steel, copper, cement, Antiretroviral Drugs, Malaria medicines and bed nets as well as the profiling of the regional agro-processing sector.
He noted that believes that with the guidance of the leadership of SADC, and with the support of the people, the region has the potential to become a highly successful economic community.
The summit took place under the theme, “Promoting Infrastructure Development and Youth Empowerment for sustainable development”.
The theme builds on the focus of the past four SADC Summits that sought to advance industrial development and takes into account the need for adequate infrastructure to support industrialisation and the need to engage the youth, who are the bulk of the SADC population.