The SADC Secretariat and the Delegation of the European Union (EU) met during a joint quarterly meeting on 16th April 2019 in Gaborone, Botswana. Quarterly meetings provide a platform to deliberate on common and emerging issues on the existing SADC-EU development cooperation, and to share information on areas of cooperation.
The SADC Executive Secretary, Her Excellency Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax, welcomed the EU delegation to SADC and thanked the EU for the continued partnership towards implementation of programmes aimed to deepen Regional Economic Integration, and strengthen Peace and Security at regional and national levels. Dr. Tax highlighted that the two Contribution Agreements on SADC Regional Agricultural Policy (€9 million), and Peace and Security (€15 million) that were signed recently between SADC and the EU, and launched on 22 March 2019 and 05 April 2019, respectively will greatly contribute towards fostering the SADC Regional Integration Agenda. The Executive Secretary accredited the attained milestones to the excellent collaboration that continues to exist between the Secretariat and the EU Delegation, and emphasized the need to maintain the momentum.
H.E. Dr. Tax shared the information with the EU delegation about the Humanitarian Appeal requiring US$323 million that was launched by the SADC Chairperson, His Excellency Hage G. Geingob president of the Republic on 11th April 2019, in Windhoek Namibia as part of the regional efforts to mitigate the impacts of the Cyclone Idai. She thanked all the stakeholders that have so far contributed in various forms towards the humanitarian assistance.
The Head of Delegation of the European Union to Botswana and SADC, Ambassador SADEK expressed sympathy and condolences on the recent devastating impacts of Tropical Cyclone IDAI on Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. Ambassador SADEK informed that the EU, through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, has extended support worth €15 million to the Emergency Response Coordination Center in Maputo, Mozambique to assist the affected communities, a gesture that was appreciated by the Secretariat. In view of the increasing impacts of climate change, the two Parties agreed to expedite collaboration between the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and the SADC Disaster Risk Management to facilitate sharing of experiences and information and ensuring a coordinated rapid response.
The two Parties further committed to continue to engage and work together in preparing for the SADC-EU dialogue to be held in June 2019, and underscored the importance of communication and visibility in the execution of the SADC-EU development cooperation.