SADC’s unprecedented video conference meeting hailed

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Timo Shihepo

Windhoek - SADC’s decision to successfully host the Council of Ministers meeting via a video conference has been hailed.

SADC’s Council of Ministers’ meeting was last week held for the first time via a video conference due to the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19), with ministers linking up from various capitals across the region – from Antananarivo, Gaborone, Kinshasa, Lilongwe, Luanda, Lusaka, Harare, Maputo, Maseru, Mbabane,   Pretoria, Windhoek to Dar es Salaam to deliberate on various issues affecting the region. ,

The meeting was held to deliberate on the implementation of SADC regional integration programmes.

The Council of Ministers is one of the institutions of SADC whose mandate, among others, is to oversee the functioning and development of SADC, and ensure that policies and decisions are implemented. The Council consists of ministers from each of the 16 Member States; usually from the ministries responsible for Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Economic Planning or Finance, and meets twice a year in March and August.

Speaking at the meeting, Tanzania Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa Majaliwa applauded SADC for convening the meeting via video conference, adding that it is an indication of SADC’s capability to withstand any challenge that it faces.

SADC executive secretary, Dr Stergomena Tax said the holding of the video conference meeting for SADC Council of Ministers demonstrates SADC’s readiness to manage emergencies and disasters.

Experts and citizens from various SADC countries have also expressed their delight at the successful hosting of a video conference meeting with some of them suggesting that it should be a norm even after the coronavirus pandemic has been defeated. 

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