The prosperity of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is largely dependent upon sustained peace, stability and security as these form the foundation for sustainable development, the bloc’s Executive Secretary Dr Stergomena Tax has said
Dr Tax said this in a virtual lecture titled “Evolution of SADC: From SADCC to SADC, Historical Context, Achievements, Challenges and Future Outlook”, which she delivered on March 16 at the National Defence College in Tanzania.
The lecture presented the historical context from the Front Line States, and detailed events leading to the formation of the Southern African Development Co-ordinating Conference in 1980, which was transformed to the Southern African Development Community in 1992. The lecture came barely a week before SADC commemorations for this year’s Southern Africa Liberation Day on March 23, which is closely linked to the history, objectives and achievements of SADC.
Dr Tax highlighted progress made and achievements recorded in politics, peace and security, industrialisation, cross border trade and market integration, infrastructure development, financial integration and inclusion, social and human capital development; as well as cross-costing issues such gender, youth, environment and climate change, and disaster risk management.
She highlighted that the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020-30 and the SADC Vision 2050 – which outline strategic interventions to address the emerging challenges and strategically position the region and shape the future – are anchored on a firm foundation of peace, security and good governance. SADC Vision 2050 envisions a peaceful, inclusive, middle to high income industrialised region where all citizens enjoy sustainable economic well-being, justice and freedom.
Dr Tax further pointed out that with progress made, some challenges that undermine prosperity of the region remain and continue to emerge and these include poverty, unemployment, and inequalities; increased number of youth with limited income generating opportunities; impact of climate change, and extreme weather; inappropriate and unregulated usage of social media; increased transnational organised crimes; violent extremism and acts of terrorism; and ever-changing geo-politics and political alliances. On this note, she urged course members to apply the skills acquired through their training and studies to find lasting solutions to the challenges facing the region today.
Commandant of the NDC, Major-General Ibrahim Mhona, said Dr Tax’s insightful presentation helped inform a better understanding of SADC’s history, objectives, achievements and challenges in the context of peace and security in the region and continent.
The National Defence College was inaugurated in 2012 with the aim of equipping defence and government policy makers with economic, political, military, scientific, international relations and organisational knowledge. – sadc.int