Gaborone - SADC has been commended for appointing women to top leadership positions.
This follows the appointment of a Botswana national, Boemo Mmandu Sekgoma, as secretary general of the SADC Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF). Sekgoma becomes the third person and the first woman to lead the SADC PF. She has been appointed for the next five years from July 22, 2019 by the Plenary which is the highest decision-making body of the SADC PF. It announced Sekgoma’s appointment during its 45th Assembly Session in Maputo, Mozambique, recently.
Sekgoma joins Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, a Tanzania, who is the sixth Executive Secretary and first female Executive Secretary of SADC to be appointed to the top leadership of the regional bloc.
Botswana’s human rights organisation, Ditshwanelo, congratulated her appointment as the new secretary general for SADC Parliamentary Forum PF.
“This is a welcome development and a continued demonstration from SADC that women have capacities to lead and do so. We also congratulate and welcome the SADC PF’s decision, its support and endorsement for this momentous appointment,” Ditshwanelo said.
Ditshwanelo also called on the Government and the people of Botswana to continue to support women in their various capacities.
“Our value principle of botho (Ubutu/humanity) recognises the dignity and strength all peoples have to contribute to the advancement of our democratic and human rights ideals,” the organisation said.
Sekgoma had served as acting secretary general for nearly a year following the departure of Zimbabwean national, Dr Esau Chiviya. She previously held the portfolio of director of programmes tasked with overseeing “implementation of programmes that include democracy governance and human rights; food security; trade, finance and investment; gender and women’s development and disease control”.
The SADC-PF is an inter-parliamentary body that brings together 14 member parliaments and about 3 000 Members of Parliament in the SADC region. Its work revolves around developmental programmes that include conflict resolution, democratic governance, human rights, HIV and Aids, gender, and regional integration. One of Sekgoma’s top priorities would be to help SADC PF convince the SADC Summit and Council of Minsters about the role that a SADC Parliament can play towards development and integration within SADC while adding value to the lives of SADC citizens.
In her brief acceptance remarks, Sekgoma was quoted by the media as thanking the Plenary for the “trust and confidence” placed on her.
“I am determined to continue serving the institutional organs of the Forum, under the wise guidance of the Executive Committee and the Office of the President of SADC PF. In so doing, I am committed to making the SADC region a better place through parliamentary development,” she was quoted as saying.