THE 39th Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit, which started in the commercial city of Dar es Salaam yesterday, is concluded today.
The event has brought together Heads of State and Government and other dignitaries from 16 member states and we are confident that it will inspire us to strive for a high level of regional integration.
SADC’s main objectives are to achieve development, peace, security and economic growth.
Others are to eradicate poverty, enhance the standard and quality of life of the people of the SADC region and support the socially disadvantaged through regional integration, which is built on democratic principles and equitable and sustainable development.
It is a great honour for Tanzania to host this SADC summit not only because President John Magufuli took over the Chairmanship of SADC from Namibian President Hage Geingob yesterday, but also Kiswahili was officially announced as the fourth SADC language.
The other three are English, Portuguese and French. Not only that, the summit is also an opportunity to market various investment and cross-border trade opportunities found in the country and for SADC leaders and dignitaries to share experience and knowledge on investment and trade strides as well as obstacles that hinder effective investment and trade growth in the region.
SADC is one of the eight regional economic communities (RECs) described as African Union (AU)’s building blocks meant to facilitate the implementation of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad), which aims at providing an overarching vision and policy framework for facilitating economic cooperation and integration among African countries.
Other African building blocks are Arab Maghreb Union (UMA), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD), East African Community (EAC), Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
After great deliberations, the Heads of State will come with effective strategies that will strengthen friendly relations and increase cross-border trade volumes that will ultimately lead to competitive economies in the region.
So, the 39th SADC summit has come at the right time Tanzania envisions becoming a middle-income and industrial economy by 2025.
We are sure SADC summit great deliberations will bear on Tanzania’s development agenda and each member state and its people will benefit from this bid event by reaping the fruits of implementing what will be agreed upon.
It is in light of this, that we want to stress the importance of this summit as it gives fresh impetus to regional trade. Reflecting on the SADC Vision, which indicates the region’s development direction and on the joint Declaration adopted in Windhoek, Namibia, on August 17, 1992, we appeal to member states to reaffirm the vision.
This involves developing a shared future to achieve a high degree of harmonisation and enable the pooling of resources to achieve collective self-reliance and improve the economic wellbeing, living standards of the people and their quality of life, freedom, social justice and peace and security for the betterment of the people of the SADC region.
Yes, if SADC members cooperate and implement all that will be agreed upon, it will lead us to a high level of economic integration. This is what we want to achieve now and then.