SIGNIFICANT steps were taken in the Southern African Development Community during Namibia’s tenure as head of the economic bloc towards the attainment of objectives of development and enhancing the quality of life of citizens in the region.
President Hage Geingob will travel to Tanzania over the weekend to lead the organisation into the the 39th Ordinary SADC Summit and to hand over role of SADC Chair during the event in Dar es Salaam. President Geingob who held the position as Chairperson of the SADC since August 2018 will hand over to President Joseph Magufuli of Tanzania who will serve as chairperson for the next year.
The ordinary summit will be convened under the theme of ‘A conducive environment for inclusive and sustainable industrial development, increased intra-regional trade and job creation’ and will end on Saunday.
During President Geingob’s tenure as Chairperson of the SADC, significant progress has been made in consolidating peace in the Democartic Republic of the Congo, with elections held in December 2018 and a new President, Felix Tshisekedi, inaugurated on 24 January 2019. Moreover, stability returned to Madagascar with elections held and a new president inaugurated on 19 January 2019, marking the first time since independence in 1960 that power is transferred peacefully from one elected head of state to another.
On 6 August 2019 President Geingob served as a witness to the historic Maputo Peace Accord, signalling the end of hostilities between the Frelimo led government under President Filipe Nyusi and the RENAMO opposition.
President Geingob also used his position of Chairperson to encourage President Azali Assounami of the Union of the Comoros to endeavour to hold peaceful elections during March 2019 and ensure stability for the island nation.
In his farewell message to citizens of the SADC Region, President Geingob said: “The region continues to consolidate the tenets of democracy for effective governance in our respective Member States. I commend the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for holding peaceful elections. I can attest that it was not an easy undertaking to ensure that the elections in the DRC were finally held, and conducted in a peaceful environment.
In the same vein, we should applaud the people and the government of the Union of the Comoros, Kingdom of Eswatini, Republic of Madagascar, Republic of Malawi and Republic of South Africa, for holding credible and peaceful elections. As I bid farewell, I feel honoured to have Chaired SADC and pleased to say that we have taken significant steps towards the attainment of the objectives of development and enhancing the quality of life of citizens in the region.”