Windhoek - SADC has made tremendous progress in the implementation of the Southern African Free Trade Area meant to improve trade relations as well as free movement of goods and services in the bloc, the regional Secretariat said last week.
Despite the region being one of the most peaceful blocs in the continent that also remains closely knitted, trade has not been as booming among member states as expected, serve for South Africa which has benefited from a booming industry which literally exports to all the other members.
The SADC Secretariat said it has agreed to allow the regional protocol on health to play an advisory role in both health and immigration issues following the outbreak of the deadly Covid-19 virus.
The regional bloc also commended steps taken by member states in dealing with the outbreak of the Covid-19 and also called for citizens to abide by the measures laid by their governments
SADC Executive Secretary Stergomena Lawrence Tax released a statement last week at the regional body’s first virtual conference of ministers of health in Tanzania calling for calm and resilience in the fight against Covid-19, which has since been recorded in Angola, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia, Eswathini, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe while others members are on high alert.
“May I commend SADC member states for the rigorous stance taken in response to this global pandemic. We call upon citizens of the region to abide by the measures announced by the respective leaders. Our effort to combat Covid-19 will only be successful if we all play our part,” said Tax.
She said some of the notable projects that have so far been implemented in the region include completion of the Kolwezi Interconnector in Zambia which is being financed under NEPAD Infrastructure Project, construction of the Julius Nyerere Hydropower project in Tanzania and the completion of the Kunene Transboundary water supply project between Namibia and Angola.
Dr Tax also reiterated that maintenance of peace and stability remains an important facet of the region’s targets.
She said member states that recently conducted elections in the past year demonstrated the growth of democratic transitions in the region as well as promoting the right of the citizens to choose their leader.
The SADC Executive Secretary also revealed that the bloc has also managed to implement about 70 percent of the solutions made at the last heads of state and government meeting in Tanzania which also saw that country taking over the rotational chairmanship.