Windhoek – President Hage Geingob is ready to take on his new role as the Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) describing it as a great nobility.
In an exclusive interview with Nampa on Monday, Geingob stressed that although chairing the SADC is challenging, he is certain that with the involvement and cooperation of all the member states, the region will be able to tackle issues faced by the region.
“We have a lot of responsibilities, including the outstanding elections in Democratic Republic Congo, which were initially scheduled for 2016 to determine a successor to incumbent President Joseph Kabila, but were postponed to December 2018,” he said.
According to past media reports, the elections were delayed with a broken promise to hold them by the end of 2017.
The Namibian leader added that assuming SADC chairpersonship, at a time when people are crying to move from political independence to the second phase of economic emancipation and when the whole of the SADC region is yearning for people to get decent housing and jobs, is not an easy task, but it was one worth taking on.
In a bid to deepen regional economic integration, Geingob referenced regional integration as a requirement for Africa to one day have a union government that Dr Kwame Nkrumah advocated for.
According to Namibia’s Head of State, this is now why there are regional economic commissions all over, which SADC has too, however, there has recently been a continental trade area zone signed.
“We have a problem of moving freely, but we have now realised that goods and people must have free movement in the region. They must also follow their money, so for this, we have to provide a conducive environment first for investors and also free movement of people,” he suggested.
Regional integration without people movement, he noted, is not going to materialise if there is no industrialisation, adding that value to raw materials is also essential in order to have inter-African trade.
President Geingob is expected to take over the SADC rotational chairpersonship from South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, on Friday. -Nampa