Republic of Botswana (21/8/05)
TAUTONA TIMES no 29 of 2005
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
"There is need to prioritise SADC activities and be more focused in the implementation of projects and programmes. Without priorities, everything is a priority - meaning nothing is really a priority- and we deny ourselves the opportunity to concentrate our efforts in those programmes that will bring in the highest development returns in the shortest possible time." - H.E. President Mogae [D 2]
"The struggle for democratic development will always be a work in progress. Those of us who remember know that in this region's real progress has been the product of indigenous struggle and sacrifice. This is worth recalling for inasmuch as we recognize that we are part of a global community we also know that we must continue to rely on ourselves in realising our collective future" - H.E. President Mogae [D 3]
A. SADC takes stock of its Past, Present and Future.
B. Press Schedule
C. The week that was
D. Statements by His Excellency the President:
1) Welcoming delegates and other dignitaries to the SADC Heads of State and Government Summit (17/8/05)
2) Accepting the Chairmanship of SADC (17/8/05)
3) At as Official Dinner and Cultural Evening marking the Silver Jubilee of SADC (17/8/05)
4) Closing the 2005 SADC Summit (18/8/05)
E. Press Office Forwarding:
1) 2005 SADC Summit Communiqué.
2) Additional notes and forwarding.
A. SADC takes stock of its Past, Present and Future.
As promised this week's edition focuses on 2005 Southern African Development Community (SADC) Heads of State and Government Summit and Silver Jubilee Celebration, which was held in Gaborone. The four Presidential Statements reproduced in section "D" below, along with the Summit's final Communiqué, together give the new SADC Chairperson, H.E. the President's, perspective on the Community's past accomplishments, current challenges and future potential.
One of the features of the annual SADC Summits is the announcement of the year's Media Award winners. These awards were established in recognition of the key role that media practitioners can play in promoting greater knowledge and understanding about the region among both its own citizens and in the wider international community. This year's prize in the television category was taken by Mr. Tiro Kganela of Botswana Television (BTV), who was recognised for his feature documentary on the cross border impact of the June 16th 1976 Soweto uprising.
Readers may recall that the same documentary was also honoured late last year in Tokyo as a finalist for the Japanese International Television Competition Prize. This Office is therefore pleased to join with others in once more commending Mr. Kganela, along with his BTV colleagues, for again showing us and the world that when in comes to broadcasting this nation has the ability to speak with its own voice.
- Dr. Jeff Ramsay, Press Secretary to the President (21/8/05)
Contacts: Office Telephone: (267) 3975154 & Facsimile: (267) 3902795.
Cell: (267) 71318598. E-mail: email@example.com.
B. Press Schedule:
As always the events listed below, which represent only those parts of H.E. the President's schedule open in whole or part to press coverage, are subject to change. When possible and necessary, updates will be forwarded. Members of the Press are also encouraged to contact the sponsors of the various events listed below for further programme details and possible updates.
Tuesday (23/8/05): In the morning, from 8:40 hours, H.E. the President will attend the Official Opening of this year's Botswana International Trade Fair at the Fairgrounds. In the afternoon, at 16:00, he will receive the credentials of the incoming High Commissioner of the Republic of Zambia, at State House.
Friday (26/8/05): In the morning, from 9:00, H.E. the President will Chair a meeting of the National AIDS Council. Members of the press are welcome for the opening photo opportunity and any possible welcome remarks before the Council goes into closed session.
POSTPONED from Monday (29/8/05): The Botswana Society AGM, which H.E. the President was scheduled to attend has been postponed to a future date to be announced.
Wednesday (31/8/05): In the morning, from 8:00 hours, H.E. the President will Officially Open the 2005 World Information Technology Forum (WITFOR), at the GICC.
C. OP Press Highlights: 2005 SACD Summit :
Tuesday (16/8/05): In the morning, H.E. the President gave an exclusive interview to Peolwane Magazine, was followed by a second exclusive, televised, interview with Reuters. Throughout the afternoon he was at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport welcoming fellow Heads of State and Government, along other dignitaries, to the 2005 SADC Summit. In the evening, he joined H.E. the President of Madagascar, H.H. Prime Minister of Angola, and H.H. the Vice President, Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, along with other SADC delegates and dignitaries at Matisong for a special showing of the much praised local production of the classic musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat".
Wednesday (17/8/05) SADC Summit Day 1: In the morning, from 8:00, H.E. the President gave the Welcome Address at the Official Opening of the 2005 SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government [D 1]. He also closed the session with a Statement of Acceptance of the Chairmanship of SADC [D 2]. The opening ceremony further included Statements and Addresses from:
* The outgoing Executive Secretary of SADC, Dr. Prega Ramsamy;
* The outgoing Chairperson of SADC, the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister of Mauritius, Dr. Navinchandra Ramgoolam;
* The recently inaugurated Presidents of Mozambique and Namibia, H.E. Mr. Armando Guebuza and H.E. Mr. Hifikepunye Pohamba; and
* The Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission and Vice-President of the African Development Bank.
Several of the above statements may be found posted on the SADC organisation website - www.sadc.int. The Opening Ceremony also featured the announcement of the winners of the annual SADC Secondary Schools Essay Competition and the SADC Media Awards. The Botswana National essay contest winner was Ms. Thato Senabye of Shoshong Senior Secondary School, who also took overall third place in the regional competition. With respect to the Media Awards, Mr. Tiro Kganela of Botswana Television (BTV) took first place in the television category [A].
The opening ceremony was immediately followed by a group photo of the SADC Heads of State and Government present, along with their special guests. H.E. the President and other dignitaries thereafter proceeded to the 11,343 square metre plot in central Gaborone, which was donated by Botswana as the site of the future SADC Headquarters. There he laid a foundation stone and unveiled the Silver Jubilee Monument. [NB: The statement drafted for the occasion and posted online by SADC Secretariat was not read].
In the afternoon, H.E. the President will host an Official Luncheon for the Heads of State and Government. Thereafter, the Summit went into closed session. In the evening, H.E. the President hosted and addressed an Official Dinner and Cultural evening commemorating SADC's 25th Anniversary [D 3].
Thursday (17-18/8/05) SADC Summit Day 2:
After meeting in closed session during the morning and early afternoon, the Summit's Official Closing Ceremony was held, during which H.E. the President gave the closing statement [D 4]. The ceremony also featured the summarised reading of the Summit's final Communiqué [E 1] and the signing by four member states of a Protocol on the Free Movement of People in the region. Botswana numbered among the majority who did not sign the Protocol. As H.E. the President observed it would have been improper for him to have signed the protocol without first subjecting it to appropriate internal consultation, which in the case of the Protocol would require the input of both Cabinet and Parliament.
The closing ceremony also featured statements by the outgoing President of the United Republic of Tanzania, H.E. Mr. Benjamin Mkapa, the new Deputy Chairperson of SADC, the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho, Prof. Pakalitha Mosisili, and H.E the President of the Republic of Madagascar, Mr. Marc Ravalomanana, who welcomed his country's formal accession to full membership in the organisation. Following a final, belated, luncheon for the Heads of State and Government, H.E. the President will hold a Press Conference.
Friday (19/8/05): At noon H.E. the President gave an exclusive interview to SABC Radio and Television.
D. STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT:
D 1) Welcoming delegates and other dignitaries to the SADC Heads of State and Government Summit (17/8/05)
Your Majesties and Excellencies Heads of State and Government and Your gracious First Ladies
Your Honour the Vice President of Botswana,
Your Lordship the Chief Justice, Mr. Julian Nganunu and Mrs. Nganunu
The Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly of Botswana and Mrs. Balopi
Your Excellencies Former Heads of State and your Spouses Honourable SADC Cabinet Ministers Honourable Representatives of the Pan African Institutions,
Your Excellencies Heads of Diplomatic Mission and International Organisations Honourable Members of Parliament
Distinguished Guests, Fellow SADC citizens
1. As you flew towards Gaborone yesterday over the vast, mostly flat and gently undulating thirstland that constitutes Botswana, you would have seen the pale grass and trees and dry land below. As you disembarked your aircraft, you would have immediately felt the August winds, bereft of moisture, that carry the Kalahari sand across the country. What awaited you as you walked across the tarmac was a nation eager to welcome you with open arms and warm smiles. Batswana welcome you!
2. It has been sometime since we last hosted the SADC Summit. Whilst we did not expect to host the Summit this year, I wish to assure you that Batswana are absolutely delighted to have you here. We normally like to think of Botswana as being at the centre of Southern Africa, which we are! Today we feel truly at the cross roads as you the leaders of SADC converge here in Gaborone.
3. You have honoured us by choosing Botswana as the home of the SADC Secretariat. This has lent some dignity to this land and serves as a monument to Botswana's contribution to the genesis of the SADC idea, which, in its formative years, His Excellency President Robert Gabriel Mugabe of Zimbabwe described as, "an edifice whose emerging outlines are yielding a sight that is truly imposing". As leaders of this Organisation, and the champions of economic co-operation and regional integration, we say from the bottom of our hearts - you are in your own home!
4. I am particularly pleased that we are meeting here in Gaborone in the year in which SADC is celebrating its Silver Jubilee. We can all be proud that this year, we joined Zimbabwe in celebrating 25 years of freedom and independence! We joined South Africa in celebrating a decade of freedom and democracy! We joined Namibia in marking 15 years of liberation and the peaceful transfer of power! We joined Mozambique twice, first to witness the democratic and peaceful transfer of power and later to celebrate 30 years of liberation from one of the most brutal forms of colonialism. The SADC idea lives and we can build on the solid foundation and achievements of the past 25 years.
5. Let us also recognise that, as the 2005 SADC Summit meets, our people are watching and listening across the dense rain forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the tropical and sub-tropical grasslands of Angola, Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania, across the mighty Zambezi, across the Kalahari, the Namib and the Karoo, across the hills and valleys of the rest of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland, indeed across the very Indian Ocean and its Mozambican channel. Across our vast region our people await the outcome of our Summit with hope and expectation. This Summit is taking place at a time when most of the region is facing a devastating drought, which has resulted in low crop yields and a deficit of cereals. As a consequence, many of our countries require emergency food assistance. We appeal to the international community to provide assistance that is commensurate with the scale of need.
6. The region requires more concerted efforts to develop strategies to deal with drought in a sustainable manner whenever it occurs. In many of our countries, including my own country Botswana, the frequency of drought far surpasses years of good rainfall. This is a harsh reality we have to collectively confront in a decisive and systematic manner. Otherwise we shall be caught in a never ending vicious cycle.
7. There are many challenges to which we must respond if we are to improve the human condition and create better standards of living for our people. In carrying out our mandate as the leadership of SADC, we must do so in a manner that will give hope to our people and support them to overcome adversity. In this respect, we must be prudent and diligent in the preparation of our plans and ensure, that our policies are not only people centred but are also responsive to the needs of our populations, who have waited patiently for us to deliver.
8. In the preparation of our programmes and projects, we must be conscious of the fact that our people should be at the centre of everything we do. In South Africa, creativity is in abundance and they have a name for it. They call it the spirit of "Batho Pele".
9. I do not understand why in the past 39 years, Botswana did not use such a word (since it belongs to us!) for people centred development and delivery of services. I would hope that while we may not have said so, in deeds we did! We must pull together and work hard in ensuring that SADC succeeds in its agenda of development, economic co-operation and regional integration. Pulling together should mean that our policies are aligned and we demonstrate through practical action that we are determined to end poverty and under-development. As the English philosopher Arthur Finlay said, "our politics should only be concerned with matters which have to do with the prosperity, comfort and happiness of the greatest number. Whatever increases these blessings deserves support, so long as liberty and freedom are preserved and justice always prevails".
10. On that note Your Majesty, Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to reiterate that you are most welcome. We consider your presence here today as a reflection of your determination and commitment to the quest for prosperity through economic co-operation and regional integration. I thank you for your attention.
D 2) Accepting the Chairmanship of SADC (17/8/05)
[Full salutations as in D 1]...Fellow SADC citizens,
1. We are delighted that on this day we have the honour and privilege to host the distinguished leaders of our regional organization here in Gaborone, the seat of the Headquarters of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat. The 2005 SADC Summit coincides with the year in which we mark the Silver Jubilee of SADC.
2. Twenty five years in the life of an organization is a good time to reflect on past achievements and future challenges. In the life of an individual, twenty five years marks maturity which brings with it serious responsibilities and obligations. As the leadership of SADC we committed ourselves from day one of the establishment of the organization to ensure improvement in living standards of our citizens in an atmosphere of peace and stability, sustained socio-economic progress, increased intra-regional co-operation as well as unfettered enjoyment of fundamental human rights.
3. As a regional organization that has come of age, SADC also has to play a meaningful part in the affairs of the global community by making positive contributions to the evolution of policies and programmes that affect us all. We have a monumental role to play in the realization of the goals of the African Union, its development programme and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). On the global front, there are many challenges too. These are the conclusion of the Doha Round of Trade negotiations, fair market access for products of developing countries, meeting United Nations (UN) targets for Official Development Assistance (ODA), wider distribution of Foreign Direct Investment flows, climate change, inclusive governance architecture in global affairs, including reform of the UN Security Council and making multilateral development institutions more responsive to the needs of developing countries. Global insecurity is also becoming a serious threat to human lives, social stability and even sustainable development.
4. The 2005 SADC Summit is also taking place at an auspicious moment in the history of our continent. During the July G8 Summit, Africa's development was one of the major issues on the agenda of the highly industrialized countries. This followed on the heels of the Commission for Africa led by Prime Minister Tony Blair, in which our own colleague, President Mkapa was a participant and author. Agreement has been reached to write off external debt of many highly indebted countries including some in SADC. International support for NEPAD is increasing all the time. Let us therefore harness this international goodwill for the development of our people and buttress this with good governance, tolerance and inclusive political processes.
5. His Excellency President Thabo Mbeki has been a tenacious and courageous champion of the search for solutions to the many challenges facing Africa. He has performed very well as a key proponent of the needs of our continent even though he has, at times, been unjustly criticized. We in SADC should express our deep gratitude to him, commend him for the tireless efforts and support him for the unwavering commitment to the common good of Africa. We encourage him to stay the course!
6. As I assume the chairmanship of our organization for the next twelve months, I must first thank the Republic of Mauritius for providing sound leadership during the past twelve months. I am particularly grateful to the Right Honourable Paul Berenger for his able and steadfast leadership as well as firm commitment to the realization of SADC ideals. I also wish to pay tribute to my predecessor, the Right Honourable Dr. Navinchandra Ramgoolam, Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius. Under his direction, SADC continued to move forward in the noble task of improving the human condition of its citizens.
7. We must also commend the electorate in Mauritius for providing us with two Chairpersons within the last twelve months! In their wisdom they deemed it appropriate to remind us that Chairmanship is not for life! May be what they were actually saying was that twelve months was too long for one person to be Chairman! Whatever the case may be, the people of Mauritius in exercise of true SADC democratic traditions with Mauritian characteristics gave us two of their best sons to lead our organization. We thank them for their wisdom.
8. It is important that at this opening ceremony we all pay tribute to the founding fathers of SADC, some of whom are present here today. I am particularly pleased that earlier this year, on 17 April, 2005, the Government and people of Zimbabwe honoured their life, heroic work and visionary leadership with the Royal Order of Munumutapa in Gold. Your Excellency President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, you did it all for us, thank you! It was fitting that you had the foresight to do it as the advent of freedom and democracy in Zimbabwe 25 years ago is specially linked to the birth of the Southern African Development Co-ordination Conference (SADCC).
9. SADCC and the Frontline States played a major role in the emancipation and democratization of Southern Africa. Under the leadership of our founding fathers a well respected, focused and action oriented organization was established capable of attracting significant levels of development assistance. SADCC succeeded within a very short period of time to gain recognition and positive image as a serious, pragmatic and programmatic organization that delivered results.
10. This was an important achievement as experience has shown that many regional organizations are stymied by ideological differences and adherence to dogma on a wide range of development issues.
11. The founders of SADC bequeathed to us a lasting legacy of realism, pragmatism and consensus. For all this and many others we say - thank you, thank you and again thank you to all of them. The greatest tribute we can pay to them is to continue making SADC an even stronger and action oriented organization.
12. We are on the correct path and we must continue with greater determination and commitment. In August, 2003, we adopted in Dar-es-Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania the 15 year Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP). This Plan which provides strategic direction, commits us to undertaking programmes and activities aimed at achieving our long term goals of poverty reduction, employment creation and attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). If we are to realize these objectives, individual Member States must ensure that their policies, programmes and strategies are consistent with the RISDP. Failure to do so would mean that for us as a region the attainment of the MDGs would remain a pipe dream.
13. As we meet here today, the implementation of the RISDP remains a major challenge to all of us. We must remove all bottlenecks or obstacles that impede its speedy implementation. We need to strengthen and revitalize SADC into a strong organization that can be an instrument for decisively fighting poverty, unemployment and insecurity.
14. During my tenure as Chairman, I commit to devote my energy to ensuring the speedy implementation of the RISDP and Summit decisions.
15. Last year, in Mauritius, I expressed concern about the level of performance in the implementation of policies, programmes and projects. I am happy to say that some modest improvement has since been registered. I am therefore grateful to the able leadership of my predecessor. The feasibility study for the new SADC Secretariat Headquarters building has been completed, though belatedly. It remains to be seen whether construction will begin before the end of this year. The recruitment process at the SADC Secretariat has progressed well over the past twelve months. Many positions have been filled. This should enable the Secretariat to give greater focus to the implementation of programmes.
16. Your Majesty, Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, a number of Protocols have been signed, ratified and come into force but are gathering dust in our shelves. We should agree on the development of a mechanism for systematically reporting progress in the implementation of these protocols. During my tenure as Chairman, I will devote my attention to the implementation of these community building instruments.
17. The implementation of the Trade Protocol for instance would give concrete meaning to regional integration in general and the achievement of some of the goals of the RISDP in particular. Free trade amongst SADC states, working towards common rules and standards and operational efficiency would go a long way towards improving economic performance and establishing strong people to people ties in our region. It is when our common destiny as a region is bound strongly together, manifested in our common prosperity that our regional identity and shared vision would be enhanced and solidified.
18. There is no doubt that the implementation of RISDP will require substantial human, financial and other resources. In this regard, SADC Member States need to commit themselves to ensuring adequate budgetary provisions for the implementation of the SADC agenda. We should find innovative ways of financing SADC on a sustainable basis.
19. We cannot afford to be over-dependent on development assistance if we truly want to be responsible for our destiny. Let me, however, qualify that by also noting that whilst we seek to assume greater responsibility for financing our agenda, we should continue our partnership and collaboration with our co-operating partners, which is the spirit of NEPAD. In this regard, I will be available to assist in the mobilization of resources as well as improving relationships with our International Co-operating Partners.
20. Another aspect of resources which needs attention is the efficiency of use of our limited resources. There is need to prioritise SADC activities and be more focused in the implementation of projects and programmes. Without priorities, everything is a priority - meaning nothing is really a priority- and we deny ourselves the opportunity to concentrate our efforts in those programmes that will bring in the highest development returns in the shortest possible time.
21. It will be recalled that the restructuring of SADC Secretariat into four Directorates centralized at Headquarters, in 2001 in Windhoek was meant to reduce costs as well as improve operational efficiency. It remains to be seen whether this will indeed be achieved. We should therefore as part of our cost saving measures, seriously consider reducing the number of meetings, trimming the size of delegations, reducing administrative costs and getting value for money at all times. Such efforts can go a long way in addressing the budgetary constraints of our organization. I will count on the Executive Secretary to ensure that this is achieved in order to release resources for the implementation of the RISDP.
22. In conclusion, let me thank your Excellencies Heads of State and Government for the confidence you have reposed in me by electing me to be Chairman of SADC. I accept this responsibility with humility and a sense of purpose.
23. SADC belongs to the people of our region and we must serve them with a greater sense of urgency to meet their needs. As leaders we have to energise and lead our people towards realizing the ideals and principles set out in the SADC Treaty. Economic co-operation and regional integration are the imperatives of our time in this globalizing world.
24. I happily accept the responsibility and duties of Chairman because I know I can count on all of you, the leaders of SADC to support me during my stewardship of our organization. I wish you open, direct and fruitful deliberations on the issues before us.
25. I thank you for your attention.
D 3) At as Official Dinner and Cultural Evening marking the Silver Jubilee of SADC (17/8/05)
[Full salutations as in D 1]...Fellow SADC citizens,
1. It is an honour to stand before this distinguished gathering tonight, in order to say a few words on this special occasion in which we commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Southern African Development Community.
2. Earlier today, many of us spoke of our region's current challenges and future opportunities. Tonight, as we celebrate this Silver Jubilee, let us pause to recall how it was that our people came together as a Community.
3. An individual who recalls nothing is reduced to a mental condition known as amnesia. Such a person must be assisted in rediscovering his or her true identity. Otherwise she or he will remain in a state of confused vulnerability.
4. As with the individual, memory is also critical in ensuring the wellbeing of any society. Communities and nations need to appreciate where they have come from to know were they are going. This is a fact that has been long recognized by oppressors and freedom fighters alike.
5. More often than not oppressors have sought to deny or otherwise distort among the oppressed genuine knowledge about their cultural and historical identity. The founders of SADC were cognizant of this basic truth. Speaking about colonial education, the late Seretse Khama observed that:
"We were taught, in a very positive way, to despise ourselves and our ways of life. We were made to believe that we had no past to speak of, no history to boast of. The past, so far as we were concerned, was just a blank and nothing more. Only the present mattered and we had very little control over it. It seemed we were in for an indefinite period of foreign tutelage, without any hope of our ever again becoming our own masters. The end result of all this was that our self-pride and our self-confidence were badly undermined."
6. Brothers and sisters, let us remember that SADC was not formed for transient strategic benefit. Our Community is the product of our own history. We have been, and must continue to be, guided by an appreciation that it is the legacy of our own people's timeless demands for dignity, democracy and development. In their staunch insistence of their own self worth, our peoples have, moreover, been motivated by an enlightened self-confidence that should remain the basis of our future solidarity. In the words of the late Samora Machel:
"International solidarity is not an act of charity: It is rather an act of unity between allies fighting on different terrains toward the same objective. The foremost of these objectives is to aid the development of humanity to the highest level possible."
7. SADC's Silver Jubilee year coincides with that of Zimbabwe. Those of us who remember 1980 know that this is no coincidence. The final triumph of the Second Chimurenga in that year was not only a victory for the people of Zimbabwe. It was also a turning point for the region for it allowed us to move beyond the strategic political cooperation of the Frontline States to a more structured pooling of our resources, which was the original mission of the then Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC). As the late Oliver Tambo, who was present, observed:
"A significant development, following the victory of the Patriotic Front forces in Zimbabwe, is the recent meeting of the Heads of Government of majority-ruled States in southern Africa, held in Lusaka, to develop a strategy for securing their economic liberation, particularly from the dominance of the South African regime. But the process of reducing economic dependence on racist South Africa will not be easy. The fascist regime can be relied upon to try and weave itself into the economic fabric of the independent States in a bid to take it over and put it to the service of Botha's "constellation of southern African States". Therefore, a new front of struggle has been opened in South Africa"
8. In this context, Robert Mugabe spoke for all of us at the time when he forthrightly affirmed that "SADCC was only partially realised without the membership of a liberated Namibia and a Democratic South Africa" adding:
"SADCC is an idea half-way fulfilled. It is a living organism, one that, moreover, grows and flourishes luxuriantly because we have all decided that whilst underdevelopment may be the historical legacy bequeathed to us by an uncaring colonialism it need not, nay should not, be the fate of our newly liberated countries and peoples."
9. With the subsequent liberation of Namibia and South Africa we were able to finally move forward towards fully fulfilling our greater vision of an integrated region, as part of broader efforts to build a united and prosperous continent. In pursuing this goal we have continued along the democratic, people centred path that was cleared by those who had struggled to restore Africa's sovereignty.
10. Today there are those who take this region's liberation, along with its prevailing peace and growing prosperity, for granted. Perhaps this is a reflection of our progress. Thankfully the children who are now growing up among us lack personal memories of when our region was still seeking to free itself from the shackles of colonialism and apartheid.
11. In this post-liberation environment it is easy to forget that our Community was not something that was handed down by politicians, although there were many statesmen who played leading roles in its formation, some of whom are with us this evening.
12. This is why we remind ourselves tonight that our Community is more than a political grouping. It has a past and a future whose roots can be found in the liberation movements and in the Frontline States. But, more fundamentally they are revealed in the hearts and souls of our proud sons and daughters of the soil who have stood together in their insistence that this region be transformed into something new and different. As the late Agostino Neto once said:
"I do not think that the national liberation struggle is directed towards inverting systems of oppression in such a way that the master of today will be the slave of tomorrow. To think in this way is to go against the current of history... A people's struggle for political power, for economic independence, for the restoration of cultural life, to end alienation, for relations with all people on the basis of equality and fraternity - these are the objectives of our struggle!"
13. While we now live in a changed world, a world of global markets and instant communication, our fundamental objectives have not altered. Today we still strive to ensure:
* that our peoples are economically as well as politically empowered;
* that we do not become alienated either from each other or the cultural legacy of our ancestors; and
* that we all come to live in a united and proud continent that interacts with the rest of the world on an equal basis.
14. Through their own cross border relationships, the peoples of this sub-continent have long demonstrated that its whole is potentially much greater than the sum of its parts. Our contemporary challenge is to work together to realize this potential.
15. Of course the relationship between realizing our common freedom and attaining our collective development is not simple. The late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere's spoke frankly when he warned:
"Freedom to many means immediate betterment, as if by magic. Unless I can meet at least some of these aspirations, my support will wane and my head will roll just as surely as the tickbird follows the rhino."
16. The struggle for democratic development will always be a work in progress. Those of us who remember know that in this region's real progress has been the product of indigenous struggle and sacrifice. This is worth recalling for inasmuch as we recognize that we are part of a global community we also know that we must continue to rely on ourselves in realising our collective future.
17. We are also experienced enough to reject the negativism of the afro-pessimists, as well as those from outside who would impose their agendas or otherwise deny us our capacity to determine our own destiny. There is nothing exotic about who we are or what we seek. The challenges we face in Africa are the same as those found elsewhere. As our elder brother Kenneth Kaunda, recently observed:
"Friends, I ask that when we discuss the issues of Democratisation, Development, and Africa, we must not treat Africa as incompetent and at a low stage of political evolution. We must note that the challenges and issues people in Africa are dealing with are found across the world. Weaknesses in governance and development systems and practices are not the preserve of Africa...Yes, being part of humanity; Africa's challenges are part of humanity's challenges. They are not African problems but challenges that also happen to be found in Africa."
18. Yes, we have our challenges, but in our Community we also have both the will and the ability to meet them.
19. Brothers and sisters, as I said we have come here to celebrate who we are and where we have come from. This is a task that can best be carried forward by those who will be sharing their culture with us tonight. Let me therefore conclude my remarks by wishing you all a pleasant remainder of the evening, for even in continued struggle there should be room for pleasure. I thank you all.
D 4) Closing the 2005 SADC Summit (18/8/05)
Below is H.E. the President's Statement closing the 2005 SADC Summit. In additional remarks he paid special tribute to H.E. President Mkapa of the United Republic of Tanzania for his contributions to the Community. The Tanzanian President is coming to the end of his second and final term in Office.
[Full salutations as in D 1]...Fellow SADC citizens,
1. Yesterday we celebrated the Silver Jubilee of our Organisation - the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and began the march towards the next 25 years leading to our Golden Jubilee.
2. As we begin this journey together we have reason to do so with a greater sense of hope and optimism. The past 25 years was the most difficult and trying period. It was a period during which our compatriots in South Africa and Namibia were involved in protracted armed struggles against institutionalized racism and oppression. The whole of Southern Africa was subjected to brutal acts of destabilization which had an adverse impact on economic growth and development. Mozambique and Angola bore the brunt of these apartheid sponsored acts of destabilisation in which many people were killed, disabled and tens of thousands internally displaced. And yet the determination of our people to liberate themselves and build a better future triumphed!
3. Today, peace and stability prevails in our region and we can correctly state that SADC has won the war of liberation but we must now ensure that we win the peace. SADC has overcome adversity and must be in a better position to make faster and greater progress in enhancing economic co-operation and regional integration than it has ever been able to do during the past 25 years.
4. I am pleased to report that when the leadership of SADC met in closed Session, they did so with a sense of urgency, responsibility and purpose. A review of the socio-economic and political situation in the region led us to conclude that we face many daunting challenges. However, we are convinced that they are not insurmountable. We collectively recognise that we must do all we can to build a SADC region that is prosperous, digitalised and capable of harnessing the vast resources of the region to meet the needs of our people. As we conclude our meeting today we have no illusions about the challenges before us. We are determined to intensify our co-operation to ensure that we can overcome any obstacles on the path to a better future for our people.
5. We are delighted to welcome Madagascar as the 14th Member of the SADC family. Madagascar brings with it a commitment to the principles outlined in the SADC Treaty, an additional 587,000 square kilometres of land, water mass, and above all, 16,4 million people thus increasing the population of our region to more than 216,4 million citizens. As we the leaders of SADC welcome Madagascar, we urge all our citizens not only to welcome the people of Madagascar but also to reach out to them as we begin a journey of a shared future and common interests as Africans.
6. Your Majesty and Excellencies Heads of State and Government, we have laid the foundation stone for the SADC Headquarters building. Construction of the building should begin as a matter of urgency. This is crucial for the effective operations of the Secretariat. As Chairman I reiterate that I am committed to ensuring follow-up and speedy implementation of Summit decisions.
7. A lot of speeches were delivered yesterday and I believe we can all agree that there is a time for talking and a time for implementation. As we come to the end of this our Silver Jubilee Summit, that time is now. But I believe we can honestly say that the deliberations of the past two days were well focused in addressing the current challenges and future opportunities that face our organization.
8. The challenge of forging a more perfect union of our region and continent both predates and shall survive us all, but we have a duty and responsibility to contribute to this noble endeavour.
9. While recognising the natural impatience of our people for a more united and prosperous region, let us not lose sight of the fact that what we are seeking to achieve will require some patience and much effort. One of the values of this Summit has been to give us a greater sense of perspective about where we are going by reminding us of where we have been. We must not be complacent about our past achievements, but rather see them as a challenge for us to build on our legacy.
10. SADC is an integral part of the international community. We are committed to partnership and co-operation with the rest of the international community in creating a more just and equitable world order.
11. In this respect, we are ready within the framework of the SADC/International Co-operating Partners to engage in constructive, comprehensive, frank and structured dialogue on terms mutually agreed by both parties.
12. Your Majesty and Excellencies Heads of State and Government, let me conclude by stating that our people are our greatest resource. The success of the SADC idea very much depends on our ability to continuously energise and mobilize our people to assume ownership of the vision of a shared future and common prosperity. As SADC leaders, we cannot succeed in the implementation of our programmes and projects if we do not have a team of dedicated and hardworking professionals in the Secretariat who passionately believe in the ideals of SADC. I therefore wish to pay tribute to our outgoing Executive Secretary, Dr. Prega Ramsamy for his contribution to SADC. We are deeply grateful for the leadership and service he provided to the Secretariat both as Deputy Executive Secretary and Executive Secretary.
13. On that note I wish all of you safe journeys to your respective countries. I am however not encouraging you to leave immediately. You are most welcome to stay a little longer and know Botswana better.
E. OP Press Office Forwarding:
E 1) 18/8/05: 2005 SADC SUMMIT COMMUNIQUÉ -
The Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), met in Gaborone, Botswana on 17-18 August, 2005 and was chaired by His Excellency, Mr. Festus Mogae, President of the Republic of Botswana.
1. The Heads of State and Government of SADC present at the Summit were:
Angola: Rt. Hon. Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos, Prime Minister of the Republic of Angola.
Botswana: H.E. President Festus G. Mogae
Democratic Republic of Congo: H. E. Professor Arthur Z'Ahidi Ngoma Vice President
Lesotho: Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili
Madagascar: H.E President Marc Ravalomanana
Malawi: H.E. President Bingu wa Mutharika
Mauritius: Dr. the Hon. Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam, Prime Minister
Mozambique: H.E. President Armando Emílio Guebuza
Namibia: H.E. President Hifikepunye Pohamba
South Africa: H.E President Thabo Mbeki
Swaziland: H.M. King Mswati III
United Republic of Tanzania: H.E. President Benjamin W. Mkapa
Zambia: H.E. President Levy P. Mwanawasa, SC
Zimbabwe: H.E. President Robert G. Mugabe
2. In attendance were Their Excellencies former Heads of State and Government: Sir Ketumile Masire of the Republic of Botswana, Joaquim Chissano of the Republic of Mozambique, Sam Nujoma of the Republic of Namibia and Ali Hassan Mwinyi of the United Republic of Tanzania. Also present at the Summit were Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mr Patrick Mazimakha, the Vice President for Operations North, East and Southern Region of the African Development Bank, Mr. Theodore Nkodo, the Secretary General of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, Dr Kasuka Mutukwa, NEPAD Chief Executive Professor Firmino G. Mucavele, representatives of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, NEPAD and COMESA Secretariat.
3. In his address to the opening session of Summit, the outgoing SADC Chairperson, Dr the Honourable Navinchandra Ramgoolam, Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius, congratulated SADC Leaders and citizens on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee celebrations. Dr Ramgoolam underscored the need to implement all the Protocols that have been signed in order to drive the region forward and exploit the abundant resources in the region. He stressed the need to implement the SADC agenda in line with the priorities set out in the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) and the Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ (SIPO). Dr Ramgoolam expressed satisfaction on the operationalisation and implementation of the RISDP and SIPO at both the national and regional levels, in particular the development of regional projects, some of which have been submitted to NEPAD for resource mobilisation. In executing these regional plans, he noted that cognisance should be given to people and development centred activities. The outgoing Chairperson underlined the importance of Africa's unity particularly in ensuring that it participates effectively in the United Nations Security Council.
4. Prime Minister Ramgoolam outlined some of the major milestones during the past year which included the approval of the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections in the Region which were immediately effected in Botswana, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe. He commended Member States for their commitment in contributing seed money for the construction of the new SADC Headquarters and expressed satisfaction on the progress made so far. In this regard, he indicated that the Feasibility Study on the Financing, Design and Construction of the New SADC Headquarters has been completed.
5. The host of the Silver Jubilee Ordinary Summit, His Excellency, President Festus Mogae, of the Republic of Botswana, welcomed the SADC Heads of State and Government, and other delegates to Botswana. President Mogae expressed his gratitude to all Heads of State and Government for their resolve to continuously pursue the common objectives and shared vision of SADC which should propel the region to greater prosperity through deeper regional integration. He paid tribute to the Former Heads of State and Government for accepting the invitation to grace the SADC Silver Jubilee Celebrations and the role they played in furthering economic and social integration of the region.
6. The official opening ceremony was also addressed by His Excellency President Armando Emilio Guebuza who reaffirmed the commitment of the Government and people of Mozambique to the ideals and aspirations of SADC. In his first statement to Summit, President Guebuza underscored the importance of adopting creative and proactive measures in the mobilisation of the private sector and civil society organisations for them to invest in the implementation of the region's integration programmes.
7. His Excellency, President Hifikepunye Pohamba also delivered his first speech at the official opening of Summit. President Pohamba expressed his country's dedication to SADC ideals and the regional integration agenda. He emphasised the need to deepen democracy in the region and adopt measures that would consolidate peace and promote freedom for all the citizens.
8. The official opening session also witnessed the ceremonial handover of the Chairpersonship from Dr the Honourable Navinchandra Ramgoolam to President Festus Mogae of the Republic of Botswana. Summit also elected Rt. Hon. Pakalitha Mosisili of the Kingdom of Lesotho as the Deputy Chairperson of SADC.
9. Summit thanked Dr the Honourable Navinchandra Ramgoolam for his able leadership and the accomplishments of SADC during his tenure of office.
10. In his acceptance statement, President Mogae outlined his vision and priorities for the coming year. President Mogae thanked the outgoing Chairperson for steering the activities and programmes of the organisation and pledged to carry forward the programme of SADC, including, the commencement of the construction of the new SADC Headquarters as well as maintaining sustainable development, pursuing multilateral relations, ensuring protocol implementation, regional macroeconomic stability, financial market integration, investment promotion, infrastructure development and opening up of borders to facilitate the free movement of goods and services and other factors of production. He also emphasised that the region should adopt policies that enhance food production in order to avert hunger in the region. President Mogae pointed out the necessity of adequate budgetary provisions for financing SADC activities and assume greater responsibility and self reliance while taking into account the goodwill of the International Co-operating Partners. President Mogae suggested that SADC prioritises its activities in order to concentrate on those issues that would deepen integration within a short timeframe.
11. President Mogae committed the Government and people of Botswana to provide all the necessary assistance and a conducive environment for the operation of the organisation.
12. The Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission, Mr Patrick Mazimakha underscored the important role of Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in the global architecture for peace and security, notably in the continental early warning systems and Africa Standby Forces. He noted with appreciation SADC's contribution to this noble cause. Mr Mazimakha urged SADC to continue building on the experience of 25 years in its integration agenda.
13. Mr. Mazimakha pointed out that it was now an opportune time to translate the shared vision into concrete actions so as to accelerate the pace of continental integration by the AU Commission and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs). In this respect, an AU Assembly will be held in January, 2006, with the aim of reviewing the proposed Rationalisation of RECs, which are the pillars of African integration.
14. Mr. Theodore Nkodo, the Vice President for Operations North, East and Southern Region of the African Development Bank, addressed the opening session. Mr. Nkodo congratulated SADC on its 25th Anniversary and outlined the role of the African Development (ADB) in supporting development in the continent and its collaboration with RECs and NEPAD. He indicated the areas of possible support to SADC's integration agenda, which include sustainable food security, regional infrastructure, combating HIV and AIDS, macroeconomic surveillance, financial integration and capital markets development and capacity building.
15 Mr. Nkodo emphasised the role of the private sector as a partner in development and indicated that, to increase its visibility and presence in the Region, the ADB has opened a country office in the United Republic of Tanzania and a regional office in Mozambique, which will cover other SADC countries. Other country offices are being opened in the DRC, Malawi, Madagascar and Zambia.
16. Addressing the Silver Jubilee Summit, the Executive Secretary of SADC, Dr Prega Ramsamy observed the great strides that have been made in the area of intra-SADC trade which has increased from a mere 5 percent in 1980 to about 25 percent today. Dr Ramsamy expressed hope that the 35 percent intra-SADC trade by 2008 in a Free Trade Area Arrangement to which all our Member States are committed will be achieved as the target is certainly within reach given the fact that the region has in place some of the key pre-requisites including sound infrastructure.
17. In the spirit of inclusivity, Dr Ramsamy pointed out the critical role played by the civil society and private sector in the implementation of the SADC Common Agenda citing the need for the region to move in the same direction.
18. It has become tradition for the official opening of Summit to feature the winners of the 2005 Regional Secondary Schools Essay Competition. The topic of the competition was premised on the achievements and challenges of SADC for the past 25 years. The first prize was awarded to Ms Sunjanabye Balloo of Mauritius, the second prize to Mr Reuben N. Mhanuka of the United Republic of Tanzania and the third prize to Ms Thato Roslyn Senabye of Botswana.
19. The official opening of Summit was also marked by the 2005 SADC Media Awards ceremony. Four finalists received their prizes as follows: Television Category, Mr. Tiro Kganela, Botswana Television; Republic of Botswana; Photojournalism Category, Mr. Ally Soobye, Le Mauricien Et Weekend, Republic of Mauritius; Radio Category, Ms Shelley Knipe, ABC Ulwazi Community Radio, Republic of South Africa; and Print Category, Mr. Perege Gumbo, Guardian Newspaper, United Republic of Tanzania.
20. Summit laid the Foundation Stone for the new SADC Headquarters and unveiled the Foundation Stone Monument. Summit underscored the necessity of accelerating the construction of the new Headquarters.
21. With regard to the Silver Jubilee Celebrations, Summit commemorated the 25th anniversary of SADC and noted with satisfaction progress registered to date since the establishment of the organisation in 1980.
22. Summit received a report from the outgoing Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation. His Excellency, Thabo Mbeki, President of the Republic of South Africa, which showed that the region continues to enjoy peace and security.
23. Summit noted that, in the process of consolidation of democracy and good governance, Botswana, Mozambique, Mauritius, Namibia and Zimbabwe held Presidential, Parliamentary and general elections. Lesotho also held successful Local Government Elections. SADC Electoral Observer Missions were deployed to all the elections and used the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections as their Terms of Reference. These elections are testimony of the consolidation of democracy in the region.
24. Concerning election observation, Summit agreed to establish a SADC Electoral Advisory Council (SEAC) whose role is that of advisor to SADC structures and to Electoral Commissions of Member States.
25. Summit noted that the United Republic of Tanzania will hold both Presidential and Parliamentary elections in October, 2005 while the Republic of Angola and the DRC will hold elections in 2006.
26. On the DRC, Summit commended the Government and the people of the DRC for adopting the new Constitution. Summit further noted that the Constitution, guarantees fifty-fifty gender parity in the political institutions of the DRC.
27. Summit expressed concern on the continuous activities of armed groups in the eastern region of the DRC posing a challenge to the consolidation of peace and political stability in that country. Summit observed that a new Government is expected to be in place by 30 June, 2006 in the DRC. Summit also mandated the Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Co-operation to work with the Government of the DRC and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that elections are held within newly agreed timeframe and mobilize the necessary assistance for a successful electoral process.
28. Summit approved and some Member States signed the Protocol on the Facilitation of Movement of Persons in SADC, aimed at enabling the movement of people in the region. The specific objectives of the Protocol are to facilitate entry into Member States without the need for a visa for a maximum period of 90 (ninety) days per year for bona fide visit and in accordance with the laws of the Member State; permanent and temporary residence in the territory of another Member State; and establishment of oneself and working in the territory of another Member State.
29. On international co-operation, Summit commended Member States for their contribution in the promotion, consolidation and sustenance of peace and security in the world in general, and Africa in particular.
30. Summit thanked President Thabo Mbeki for efficiently spearheading the activities of the Organ for the past year.
31. Summit elected H.E. President Hifikepunye Pohamba, as Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation and H.E. Benjamin W. Mkapa of the United Republic of Tanzania as Deputy Chairperson.
32. On the Hashim Mbita Project, whose objective is to document the history of the Liberation Struggle in Southern Africa, Summit reaffirmed its commitment to the project and noted that the project is under implementation.
33. With regard to the economic situation in the region, Summit noted that the region achieved a GDP growth rate of 4.1% in 2004 compared to 3.2 percent the previous year. Summit observed that Member States continue to implement sound macroeconomic policies and business friendly reforms aimed at putting the region on a sustainable growth path that would contribute to poverty reduction and improvement in the quality of life of Southern Africans. However, Summit noted with concern that the region faces the challenge posed by increasing oil prices that have ripple effects on the entire economy and may compromise the growth of the regional economy.
34. Summit welcomed the debt relief proposals announced by the G8 countries in July, 2005 and noted the need for details on the debt relief programme that is likely to benefit a few SADC Member States.
35. Summit observed that for most Member States to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), there is an urgent need for SADC countries to institute policies and programmes aimed at accelerating social and human development, individually and collectively. Summit also called upon International Co-operating Partners to increase the level of resources being channelled to developing countries to finance education, health and social development activities.
36. With regard to Food Security, Summit noted that the region is self-sufficient in maize despite deficits in a few countries. In this respect, Summit urged the affected Member States to mobilise resources to import food that may be required to prevent incidence of hunger and starvation. Summit reiterated that Member States should honour the commitments in the Dar es Salaam Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security to accelerate agricultural production and eradication of food insecurity in the region.
37. On HIV and AIDS, Summit noted that the main activities and interventions undertaken during the year include the development of policy options for mainstreaming HIV and AIDS and mitigating AIDS adverse impact on agriculture and food security, formulation of guidelines on HIV and AIDS and mobile populations, guidelines to conduct household surveys on HIV and AIDS, a model for mainstreaming orphans and vulnerable children in the education system, and the establishment of regional forum for national aids authorities.
38. With respect to Gender and Development, Summit endorsed the African Union position which provides for 50 percent target of women in all political and decision-making positions.
39. Summit observed that the regional level interventions are complimentary to national HIV and AIDS prevention and support programmes. Member States have continued to roll-out Antiretroviral Therapies (ARV's) programmes and the prevention of the transmission of the virus from the mother to the child (PMTCT). Summit noted that Member States are strengthening voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) and surveillance of the epidemic.
40. In operationalising the SADC Tribunal in terms of the Protocol on Tribunal, Summit approved the appointment of the following ten (10) members of the Tribunal:
* Dr. Roberto Kambovo of Angola;
* Dr. Onkemetse B. Tshosa of Botswana;
* Hon. Justice Isaac Jamu Mtambo of Malawi;
* Chief Justice Ariranga Govindasamy Pillay of Mauritius;
* Hon. Dr. Luis Antonio Mondlane of Mozambique;
* Hon. Justice Petrus T. Damaseb of Namibia;
* Hon. Justice Stanley B. Maphalala of Swaziland;
* Hon. Justice Frederick B. Werema of Tanzania;
* Hon. Justice F. M. Chomba of Zambia; and
* Hon. Justice Antonia Guvava of Zimbabwe.
41. Summit also designated the initial five regular Members of the Tribunal as follows:
* Dr. Roberto Kambovo of Angola;
* Dr. Onkemetse B. Tshosa of Botswana;
* Hon. Justice Isaac Jamu Mtambo of Malawi;
* Chief Justice Ariranga Govindasamy Pillay of Mauritius;
* Hon. Dr. Luis Antonio Mondlane of Mozambique.
42. Summit appointed Mr Tomás Augusto Salomão as the Executive Secretary of SADC for a period of four years. Mr Salomão is a citizen of the Republic of Mozambique and is an Economist by profession. He is a former Minister of Planning and Finance and Minister of Transport and Communications of Mozambique. Summit congratulated Mr Salomão for his appointment to the high office of the SADC Executive Secretary. Summit also appointed Engineer João Samuel Caholo of the Republic of Angola as Deputy Executive Secretary of SADC for a period of four years. Engineer Caholo is a former Director of the SADC Energy Commission, Director of Infrastructure and Services Directorate and Deputy Minister of Fisheries. Summit congratulated Engineer Caholo on his appointment as Deputy Executive Secretary of SADC.
43. Summit expressed its gratitude to Dr Prega Ramsamy for his contribution to SADC during his tenure of office at the helm of SADC as the Executive Secretary. Summit also thanked Mr. Albert Muchanga for his contribution to the organisation during his tenure of office as Deputy Executive Secretary of SADC. Summit wished the two good health and success in their future endeavours.
44. Summit expressed its gratitude to the former Heads of State and Government who graced the silver jubilee celebrations.
45. Summit thanked representatives of other regional and continental organisations for attending the 2005 Summit.
46. Summit expressed its appreciation to the Government and people of the Republic of Botswana for hosting the Summit and for the warm hospitality extended to all delegates. Summit also thanked the SADC Secretariat for the successful organisation of the Summit.
47. In his Farewell Speech to Summit, His Excellency, President Benjamin W. Mkapa observed that in the last 25 years, SADC has resolved the direction, promulgated its vision and defined its framework for co-operation. President Mkapa pointed once priorities and strategies are agreed upon, it is imperative to put in place institutions within each of the governments with the task of monitoring implementation and follow up at national level. He noted that the spirit of the Frontline States should invigorate the region into action that would make SADC emerge as the most purposeful, most powerful and most successful African regional economic grouping.
48. With respect to the membership of Madagascar, Summit unanimously admitted the Republic of Madagascar as a 14th Member of SADC. In his statement following the admission of Madagascar into the SADC family, President Marc Ravalomana, pledged his country's commitment to the noble objectives and aspirations of SADC. In line with the SADC vision, President Ravalomanana stated that his country is in the process of establishing efficiency and transparency of public administration, respect of the rule of law, good governance and the participation of civil society in major national issues. He undertook to implement the programmes and activities of the Community in pursuit of regional integration particularly the opening up of the market by reducing taxes and import duties as well as facilitating Foreign Direct Investment. President Ravalomanana supports SADC's programmes on standardization, quality assurance, accreditation and meteorology as this is a pre-requisite for a Free Trade and subsequent establishment of a Customs Union.
49. President Mogae officially closed the Summit and undertook to focus on the following priorities during his tenure of office:
a) Commencement of the construction of the new SADC Headquarters;
b) Finalisation of recruitment of permanent staff;
c) Consolidating the implementation of the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan and the Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ;
d) Putting in place a Protocol Implementation monitoring mechanism.
e) Effective participation in multilateral negotiations.
50. Right Honourable Pakalitha Mosisili of the Kingdom of Lesotho passed a vote of thanks in which he invited his colleagues to attend the next ordinary Summit in 2006. Summit accepted with appreciation the offer by the Kingdom of Lesotho to host the next Summit
E 2) Additional notices and forwarding from 14-21/8/05:
* 17/8/05: "Southern African countries kick-off annual summit in Botswana"
* 17/8/05: Regional summit opens with a call for food aid"
* 17/8/05: "Africa's SADC marks 25 years, urges action on poverty
* 17/8/05: "SADC urged to focus on peoples development"
* 17/8/05: "Chinese premier congratulates SADC on anniversary of founding"
* 17/8/05: "Court finds 'No' Mining at Game Reserve"