His Excellency Mr. Paolo Serpi, the Special Envoy for the Countries of the Caribbean and of Sub-Saharan Africa, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy, paid a courtesy call to the SADC Executive Secretary, HE Dr. Stergomena L.Tax. Mr. Serpi was accompanied by Ms. Chiara Petracca, Capo Ufficio Xiii-Paesi dell'Africa Australe. Mr. Serpi used the opportunity to present to the SADC Secretariat, Italy's determination to cooperate with the region in areas of mutual interest. Mr. Serpi indicated that Italy has been cooperating with other regional Organisations, including CARICOM, in areas, such as security, Anti-drugs and Anti-crimes. In Sub-Saharan Africa, Italy intends to cooperate in areas of mutual interest, such as curbing illegal hunting, environment and climate change, and renewable energy.
Dr. Tax, thanked Mr. Serpi and his delegation for visiting SADC. She acknowledged that the SADC Secretariat, and indeed the whole of the SADC region, recognize the cardinal importance of effective cooperation in areas of strategic importance to SADC and Italy. She welcomed the proposal of cooperation between SADC and the Italian government. Dr. Tax indicated to the delegation that SADC is currently pursuing priority programs in line with the recently approved Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) and the Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap, and encouraged Italy to support SADC in this endeavour.
Mr. Serpi and Dr. Tax agreed to forge further cooperation of the two parties by negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding, to be followed by an implementable Action Plan, and to look into the possibility of being accredited to SADC.