TANZANIA has reiterated its commitment to push forward the SADC development agenda by sustaining cooperation and boosting inter-regional trade in the region.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Prof Palamagamba Kabudi, who was yesterday handed the SADC council of ministers’ chairpersonship, said the government of Tanzania and its people were committed to the roles stipulated within the SADC development agenda and that it would always fulfill them earnestly.
Prof Kabudi said: “We assume this new responsibility with humility and great honour; we promise to serve the region with the highest level of integrity and commitment,” adding that Tanzania was committed to work with the other member countries in fighting poverty, creating more job opportunities and many other obligations.
The new SADC council chairman said unity among SADC member countries was the first and strong weapon in ensuring attainment of economic development in the region and that there could not be significant development without collective efforts.
“Without unity there is no future for Africa, we need to stand together and move forward as one,” he noted.He urged SADC members to continue engaging both the public and private sector in pushing forward the industrialisation agenda, saying both were needed for mutual development of the sector.
The minister said Tanzania had been home for many African countries and a base for liberation struggles. He said many liberation movements for most of southern African countries were based in Tanzania.
“ Being here gives you an opportunity to trace your roots and remind you of those years of the liberation struggle; I am quite sure areas such as Nachingwea, Mazimbu, Morogoro, Dar es Salaam, Kongwa and many other areas carry great memories in your history,” he said.
Earlier, former SADC Council chairperson, who doubles as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of Namibia, Ms Nentumbo Ndaitwah, said SADC was confident in Tanzania as it takes a lead of the bloc.
“I believe Prof Kabudi will continue to successfully advance the SADC agenda,” she said. She said Tanzania had been a good home for many African countries and that Mwalimu Julius Nyerere’s spirit and commitment to Africa has always pushed SADC members and Africans in general to continue pushing for integration.
“Mwalimu Nyerere was a true son of Africa. His commitment enables us to continue moving the integration towards Africa we want,” she said. The SADC council consists of designated ministers, mostly those responsible for foreign and external affairs.
The council oversees the functioning and development of SADC and implementation of policies and programmes, and advises the summit on matters of overall policy, including the efficient and harmonious functioning of institutions.
The council met at least two times a year.
The Chairperson and Deputy Chairpersons of the council are appointed from the member states holding the chairpersonship of SADC respectively.