Southern Times Writer
Windhoek – The 41st SADC Summit in Lilongwe this week ushered in a new cadre of leaders to steer the Southern African bloc, led by Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera as Chairperson.
President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi of the DRC is the Incoming Chair while President Felipe Nyusi of Mozambique is the Outgoing Chair.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa took over from Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi as Chair of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation. The Incoming Chair of the Organ is Namibian President Hage Geingob.
The leaders of these six countries constitute the SADC Double Troika.
The regional organisation also appointed a new Executive Secretary, Mr Elias Magosi of Botswana, who takes over from Dr Stergomena Tax at the SADC Headquarters in Gaborone.
Prior to his appointment, Mr Magosi – who was up against the DRC’s Professor Faustin Mukela for the top job – headed Botswana’s public service and was Permanent Secretary to President Masisi.
He took his oath of office before SADC Heads of State and Government, pledging to “perform my duties and exercise my powers honourably, faithfully, impartially and independently according to the best of my knowledge and ability”. Malawi’s Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda administered the oath.
President Chakwera said, “We look forward to working closely with you (Mr Magosi) during our tenure as SADC Chair and beyond in pursuit of the collective goal of regional integration and implementation of the 2020-2030 Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan and SADC Vision 2050. We wish you nothing but success as you steer the Secretariat to fulfil the region’s aspirations and ambitions in social economic spheres.”
Mr Magosi will lead the SADC Secretariat until 2025, after which he is eligible for consideration for a second and final four-year term.
On its social media pages this week, the Government of Botswana said Mr Magosi “has a wealth of experience and requisite leadership competencies gained in executive management in both the public and private sectors, as well as within international organisations”.
It added, “Mr Magosi possesses comprehensive understanding and knowledge about the workings of SADC, having served as the Director of Human Resources and Administration at the SADC Secretariat, from March 2017 to April 2018.”
Mr Magosi holds a Diploma in Management Services from the University of Bolton in the United Kingdom, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics/Statistics from the University of Botswana. He also has a Master’s in Organisation Development from Bowling Green State University in the United States.