by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
PRETORIA, (CAJ News) – OUTGOING chairman of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), King Mswati III, has hailed the relative peace and stability in the region, saying these created a conducive business environment.
The Swaziland monarch was speaking in Pretoria, the South African capital city, on Thursday, ahead of the 37th SADC Summit.
He said the region had thus far been exempt to civil war and conflict.
Mswati III nonetheless called on the 15-member bloc to confront challenges that hampered prospects of food and water security.
He noted challenges such as energy insecurity, transnational drugs, human trafficking, smuggling, money laundering, cyber security, climate change,environmental degradation and youth unemployment among major problems to be speedily tackled.
Mswati III praised the SADC founders for their vision in creating a common future aimed at improving the lives of many since formation in 1980.
It was known as the Southern African Development Coordination Conference(SADCC) until 1992.
The Swazi monarch expressed encouragement at the growing awareness and participation of people in the region in the implementation of SADC programmes and projects.
“I do hope this will gradually move the region towards achieving the goals for which SADC was established which is to reduce the levels of poverty and improve the standard of living of the people in the region,” he said.
SADC has in recent years made strides in accelerating the pace of regional integration.
Among such initiatives include reviewing the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan, reviewing the Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ,development of a Regional Infrastructure Master Plan and development of the Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap (2015 -2063) and its Action Plan.
Mswati III challenged the region to invest in infrastructure development to accelerate industrialisation and economic transformation through partnerships of public and private sectors.
“The need and importance of industrializing the SADC region cannot be over-emphasized,” he said.
The Swaziland monarch, whose country is among the smallest, geographically, in the region, is due to hand over the SADC Presidency to South African President Jacob Zuma on Saturday.
– CAJ News
Mswati III lauds SADC as symbol of peace, stability
by SAVIOUS KWINIKA