The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Executive Secretary, Her Excellency, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, has welcomed to Botswana and SADC three new envoys from Japan, Nigeria and Russia.
Japanese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Botswana and Special Representative to SADC, His Excellency Mr Hoshiyama Takashi, Russian Federation Ambassador and Special Representative to SADC, His Excellency Mr Andrey Kemarskiy, and the High Commissioner of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to Botswana and Permanent Representative to SADC, Her Excellency Mrs Wosilat Abimbola Adedeji, presented their Letters of Credence to the SADC Secretariat on 3rd June 2021.
In separate brief meetings, H.E Dr Tax welcomed the new envoys and congratulated each of them on their appointments. The Executive Secretary expressed her commitment to continuously work with the envoys in their various capacities to strengthen existing cooperation in the advancement of regional and continental integration.
Dr Tax Informed H.E Mr Kemarskiy of SADC’s willingness to cooperate with Russia on peace and security, as well as on economic cooperation. Both parties agreed to engage further in discussions aimed at harmonising the approach and context of interventions, including operationalisation of the existing SADC-Russia Memorandum of Understand (MoUs) on Military Technical Cooperation and Basic Principles of Relations and Cooperation that were signed in July 2018 and October 2018, respectively. Dr Tax underscored that the operationalisation of the MoUs between SADC and Russia remains critical in strengthening cooperation and will form the basis of deliberations of the Russia-Africa Summit scheduled in 2022.
H.E. Mr. Kemarskiy expressed Russia’s interest to also further expand its cooperation in other sectors such as agriculture, rail infrastructure, nuclear energy, education and medical supplies.
The SADC Executive Secretary also commended the Government of Japan for its continued support towards the construction Kazungula One Stop Border Post facility which has thus far been completed and was recently commissioned by the Republics of Botswana and Zambia and paves way for enhanced SADC integration and development. To strengthen the existing cooperation, through enhanced and effective implementation of the Tokyo International Conference of African Development (TICAD), Dr Tax called upon the two parties to explore the new scope of engagement which will accelerate investment between SADC and Japan.
H.E Mr Takashi introduced the Japanese global initiative on the rule of law, free navigation and democracy which was founded on the need to promote stability and prosperity in the international community, and indicted that it will be implemented through collaborations with the United Nations, World Bank and the African Union.
Dr Tax and Nigerian High Commissioner Adedeji noted the importance of continued collaboration in the implementation of the regional and continental integration through effective and interactive bilateral, and multilateral engagements including, between the SADC and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Secretariats and the African Union. They further agreed to foster close mutual relations through the SADC and International Cooperation Partners Dialogue Platform which is crucial in coordination and networking for key stakeholders, facilitating inter-sector and inter-institutional dialogue and cooperation.
Ambassador Adedeji commended the SADC Region for its approach to consolidation of peace, democracy and security and the continued efforts in addressing terrorism and security threats; and further called on the parties to formalise alliances in formulation of initiatives in building long lasting peace and security.
The three envoys expressed their gratitude for the opportunity accorded to them to forge stronger cordial and diplomatic ties with Botswana and SADC. The emissaries further thanked Dr Tax for the warm welcome to the SADC Region and pledged their support to the advancement of the SADC cause.
Done in Gaborone 3 June 2021