18 Aug 2015 16:30pm
CORRECTION: Name of Botswana President is 'Seretse Khama Ian Khama' in first para and 'success' in headline.
By Maggy Thomas
GABORONE, 18 AUG (NAMPA) - Botswana President, Seretse Khama Ian Khama has described the just-ended Southern African Development Community (SADC) Heads of State and Government Summit as a success.
Khama, who resumed the chairmanship of SADC during the two-day summit, told leaders of the region that the people of southern Africa would not judge them by the adoption of key strategic documents but rather by the implementation thereof.
During the summit, SADC leaders signed some legal instruments, which include; Defence and Security Cooperation; Declaration on Youth and Empowerment; Trade in Services; and Amendment of the Protocol on the Tribunal in SADC.
He, therefore, called on SADC leaders to implement agreed priorities in the strategic plans in order to improve the well being of their people.
It goes without saying that we need each other if we are to prosper as a region, said Khama.
The summit adopted important decisions that cut across sectors that need to be implemented in good time.
He said the SADC Summit comes at a time when there are many global developments and that as a region, SADC needs to take note of some, which include the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) coming to an end and being succeeded by the Sustainable Development Goals and the Environmental and Climate Change discussions.
As we individually or collectively participate in international forums on these critical issues, let us ensure that the SADC voice or position is taken ahead, he instructed the SADC leaders.
He took the opportunity to recognise the continued support of regional development efforts by international cooperating partners.
Khama thanked the partners for their immense contribution and urged them to continue to support the regional bloc as members move towards regional industrialisation.
However, he was quick to point out that while the financial support is commendable, it remains necessary for SADC to find innovative ways of financing the regional agenda.
This should be accompanied by operational efficiency at the SADC Secretariat to reduce administration costs in order to release resources for the implementation of SADC programmes, he said.
The theme of the summit was Accelerating Industrialisation of SADC Economies through Transformation of Natural Endowment and Improved Human Capital.
The 36th SADC Ordinary Summit will be held in Swaziland, which automatically makes King Mswati III deputy chairperson of the summit.
Mswati III took the opportunity to invite all Heads of State and Government to attend the next summit in Swaziland in August 2015.
He invited the SADC leaders to come and witness the country's Annual Reed Dance and visit the Swaziland International Trade Fair which take place during the same month.
The 35th summit also witnessed the outgoing chairperson of the Troika Organ, South African President Jacob Zuma passing over the baton to President of Mozambique Jacinto Nyusi who will be deputised by Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete.