‘Let’s unite on EPAs’
WINDHOEK – There is need for SADC to move forward in unity to ensure an outcome of Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) beneficial to all member states new SADC chairman and Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba said yesterday. He spoke when he accepted to lead the 15-member grouping for the next 12 months at its summit in the Namibian capital, Windhoek, yesterday. “As you aware aware, the SADC and European Union have been engaged in negotiations aimed at reaching an equitable Economic Partnership Agreement. These negotiations are still ongoing and at a critical stage in resolving the outstanding issues that emanated for the Swakopmund 1 meeting, including other issues agreed upon between the parties as negotiating issues. “In order to advance the interests of SADC and enhance the process of regional integration, there is a need for SADC to move forward in unity to ensure an outcome of the EPA negotiations that is beneficial to all member states. “I am committed to work diligently with all stakeholders to achieve this objective.” Namibia is one of the countries holding out in signing the EPA. President Pohamba said women and youths play an important role in developmental efforts and therefore their inclusion and advancement should not be left at the periphery. “ The progress we make in addressing poverty, underdevelopment and marginalisation of vulnerable groups can only be properly measured by the steps we take to ensure the advancement and prosperity of women, youth, children and other disadvantaged groups,” he said.