The British High Commissioner to Botswana, H.E. Ms. Katy Ransome, paid a courtesy call to the SADC Executive Secretary, H.E. Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax, on 21st April 2016, and had discussions on how to foster and enhance cooperation in areas of mutual interest. The Executive Secretary welcomed Ms. Ransome to SADC, and congratulated her for her recent appointment as the British Ambassador to Botswana and SADC. Dr. Tax further thanked the British government for the support extended to SADC through cooperation at regional level and with individual Member States.
The meeting discussed the drought situation in the SADC Region and noted the Region’s efforts in collaboration with the international community in responding to the challenges posed by the drought conditions as a consequence of climate change. The meeting also took note on progress made in Trade Facilitation Programme supported by the United Kingdom. The Executive Secretary explained that SADC has prioritized industrialization as guided by the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap adopted by the Summit in April 2015. The Strategy offers cooperating opportunities through the enhancement of enhancing productive capacity and competition; infrastructure to facilitate industrialization and trade; skills development, private sector capacitation, and regional and international value chains. She implored Cooperating Partners, including the United Kingdom, to support this initiative and cooperate with SADC in these areas. The meeting noted the scoping work on regional trade that is being undertakenby the Department for International Development (DFID) and agreed to continue consulting.
The meeting also discussed the importance of private sector and non-state actors' engagement in the integration agenda. The Executive Secretary assured the Ambassador that SADC recognizes and appreciates the role played by the Private Sector and non-State Actors, and will continue working together to accelerate regional integration.