Monday, April 22, 2024

SADC to celebrate its 30th anniversary in two weeks

Preparations are at an advanced stage to ensure success of the 30th Jubilee of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Heads of State and Government, which is set to be held in Windhoek, Namibia, from 16 ÔÇô 17 August 2010.

The SADC Secretariat planned a series of activities from 1 April ÔÇô 17 August 2010 to commemorate the 30 years of its existence and also of its achievements.

It was intended, according Leefa Martin, Head of Public Relations, SADC Secretariat, that this period of activities is set up to recognize the two major dates in the formation of both the Southern Africa Development Coordinating Conference (SADCC), as it was initially named, and its successor, SADC.

The activities will focus on the organization’s major programmes, achievements and challenges, including its vision for the future.

“The events will be targeted at increasing stakeholder awareness on SADC, boost the visibility and image of the organization,” said Martin.

In addition, the event will further showcase the benefits SADC has brought to the region, partly with a view to arousing interest in the organization, especially among the youth and other key stakeholders outside government.

However, on the main, the summit, like all other previous ones, will engage in its normal business except for the fact that, this time around, it will coincide with the 30th anniversary.
Part of the business of the Windhoek summit will include receiving a report of the Ministerial Task Force on regional integration and Economic Partnership Arrangements proposals for economic integration.

“Food Security and HIV aids as concerns deserving the collective attention of the regional leadership will also occupy a significant space on the agenda of the Heads of States and Government summit,” said Martin.

Besides, the rest of the business will consist in receiving and evaluating the feedback given by the various assigned sub-committees and deliberating on the reports of the Ministerial Task Force.
It was expected that there would be a launch of the regional customs union, but it would appear that they first have to receive the reports of the Ministerial Task Force.

SADC came into being on 1 April 1980 in Lusaka, Zambia, through what has become the Lusaka Declaration. Then, Southern African countries were going through difficult times of colonial domination and apartheid destabilization. The main objective at the time was to fight for the liberation of Southern Africa.

SADC was preceded by the Southern African Development Coordinating Conference (SADCC).
Members of the SADCC included Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia.

These countries worked together as Frontline States through consultations and coordinating efforts to draw up a road-map for freedom and independence of all Southern African countries.

After Namibia’s independence, the SADCC hosted a Conference in Windhoek and a Treaty to transform the organization from a pure coordinating conference into a community body that would integrate regional economy following the independence of the rest of the member states, including Namibia, was passed.

The occasion will also be an opportunity to acknowledge and recognize the outstanding contributions of former SADC leaders and individuals who have contributed to the attainment of the organization’s ideals, goals and objectives.

Interestingly, as it was in the beginning when the SADCC was transformed into SADC, Namibia will host the 30th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government.

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