SADC Executive Secretary tours SARDC
The SADC Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, recently paid a courtesy call on the Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC) in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Dr Tax said SARDC is an important stakeholder in the promotion of priority regional integration programmes in southern Africa.
“During our meeting we discussed a number of issues and we have agreed that we need to enhance our co-operation,” Tax told journalists soon after her meeting with the SARDC management team.
Tax, who was appointed the SADC boss at the 33rd SADC Summit held in Malawi last year, hailed SARDC for undertaking research that informs development.
“It is through research that we can come up with meaningful policies,” she said, adding that, “through research we can come up and unpack information which can be shared widely with citizens and enable them to benefit better from our regional integration.”
She also said there is need to enhance the visibility of SADC as the regional economic community is still less understood by some of its citizens.
When the citizens of SADC are fully involved and informed about SADC, the region would be in a position to achieve most of its goals.
Some of the major regional integration milestones for SADC include the Free Trade Area launched in 2008 and the pending Customs Union that aim to promote the smooth movement of goods and services across member states.
SADC also aspires to continue maintaining peace and stability – key ingredients for socio-economic development.
The courtesy call by the SADC boss is part of her familiarization tour of member states and key regional institutions following her appointment in August 2013.
Tax is no stranger to regional integration after serving as permanent secretary in the Tanzanian Ministry of East African Cooperation since 2008.
During her tenure, she played a crucial role in strengthening intra-regional trade and cooperation among the five partner states of the East African Community.
She is the first woman to assume the post of SADC Executive Secretary. She took over from Tomaz Augusto Salomão of Mozambique, who had served two four-year terms as SADC Executive Secretary.
SARDC is an independent regional knowledge resource centre that focuses on regional policy issues in southern Africa and undertakes research that informs development.
The centre has a strong track record of experience and expertise in research, collecting, analysing, writing, documenting and disseminating knowledge from a regional perspective in a way that is accessible for different target audiences, including policy and decision makers in the public and private sectors, parliaments, academics, development agencies, the media and the public.
SARDC is made up of several specialist institutes including the economic institute that covers energy, trade and infrastructure development; a gender institute; and a regional centre for environment, water resources and climate change; and an institute for China-Africa studies in southern Africa. – sardc.net