SADC Executive Secretary Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax today urged SADC Member States to reduce dependence on donor funding for regional integration and development programmes. Speaking at the 16th meeting of the Ministerial Committee of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation (MCO) this morning in Swakopmund, Namibia, Dr. Tax stated that it is worrisome that currently the ratio of the funds allocation is 21% from Member States and 79% from International Cooperating Partners.
She said this situation requires an in-depth reflection, and a proper strategic way forward, adding that “As we all agree donor contributions should only supplement our own efforts and should not be the mainstay of our regional integration and development programmes. As long as donor contributions are the major source of our funding, it will be hard for us to independently realise our objectives – without pandering to the whims of others. This disturbing situation requires immediate attention”.
Dr. Tax recalled the importance of SADC’s ever-lasting political will that propelled the region from being a colonial asset to freedom and independence. She said that political will, based on unity of purpose and action, continues to be necessary as it has always been.
The SADC Executive Secretary furthermore pointed that “The reality of our mandate, as enshrined in the Treaty, is that regional integration is not a choice or a probability: IT IS A MUST!!! It can be done. Let us pull together towards a common destination that is beneficial to SADC citizens”.