The new British High Commissioner to Botswana and United Kingdom's designated Special Representative to SADC, Ms. Sian Price held a virtual Introductory courtesy call with SADC Executive Secretary, Her Excellency Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax on the 2nd July 2020. The High Commissioner Ms. Price thanked the SADC Executive Secretary for the warm welcome and highlighted that Britain remains committed to enhancing cooperation with SADC at both regional and national levels. She stated that in the spirit of continued support to the SADC region, her office is committed to collaborate further with SADC on areas to be mutually agreed by the two Parties.
H.E. Dr. Tax congratulated High Commissioner Price for the appointment and welcomed her to SADC. She informed her that SADC Secretariat enjoys cordial working relations with the United Kingdom High Commission, and looks forward to the continued good working relations with High Commissioner Price. The SADC Executive Secretary indicated that SADC has been collaborating with the U.K in climate change, water security, regional trade, illegal wildlife trade, peace and security, areas that remain relevant to the SADC-UK collaboration in line with SADC priorities. H.E. Dr. Tax further commended the UK as the current International Cooperating Partner (ICP) co-chairperson of the Water Strategy Reference Group, which is one of the most dynamic existing Thematic Groups under the SADC – ICPs partnership.
Regarding COVID-19, Dr. Tax said the socio-economic impact analysis conducted by the Secretariat has revealed that the pandemic will have far reaching impacts in the SADC region across sectors, highlighting that the Secretariat remains seized with Regional COVID-19 response measures. She pointed out that lessons learnt during COVID-19 pandemic will be used to inform the recovery measures and strategies put forward by Member States to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.
The two Parties reiterated their commitment in expanding the scope of cooperation, by exploring other potential areas of cooperation for mutual benefit.
The Executive Secretary was accompanied by Director of Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation, Mr Jorge Cardoso; Director for Social & Human Development, Ms. Duduzile Simelane; Director for Finance, Investment and Customs; Mr Sadwick Mtonakutha; Executive Secretary Assistant, Disaster Risk Management Unit, Mr Alex Banda and Ms Sibongile Mavimbela, representing Director, Food Agriculture and Natural Resources.