Germany commits €300m for development to SADC
Gaborone – The Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Germany have signed agreed minutes on co-operation in preparation for new round of German commitments to be made during the SADC-Germany Development Corporation (GDC) negotiations mid-2015.
The SADC-German co-operation aims to support the deepening of regional integration for the benefit of the people of the SADC region.
The two parties recently met to consult on the future of SADC-German co-operation, which led to the signing of agreed minutes.
In a joint press statement released recently, both sides recognised the significance and value added of more than 20 years of co-operation during which the German government has committed around €300 million for SADC.
The German Ambassador to Botswana, Rolf Ulrich, announced further German commitments to SADC.
In 2014, the German government availed an additional €26 million to SADC to carry out the joint programmes among them peace, security and good governance, which was financed at the tune of €3 million.
About €8 million was disbursed for trans-boundary use and protection of natural resources in the SADC region; €10 million was disbursed for regional fund for water supply and basic sanitation while €5 million went to Transfrontier Conservation Area Great Limpopo.
Germany is one of the key partners providing technical and financial support for the implementation of the SADC Common Agenda.
Speaking after the signing of the agreement at the SADC Secretariat headquarters in Gaborone, Germany Ambassador to Botswana and Observer to SADC, Rolf Ulrich, said his country had been co-operating with SADC for more than 20 years.
“The support includes the alignment of our co-operation with plans and strategies that had been decided upon by SADC, given that it had its Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) that is currently under review; the German co-operation would be aligned to the SADC RISDP,” said Ulrich.
Ulrich said Germany is committed to further co-operation with SADC, because his government is of the view that the African Union (AU) and regional economic community including SADC were important to bring the African continent forward.
“The co-operation is also aimed at improving the lives of people living in the continent, by creating jobs, improving economic and social wellbeing as well as giving people a better future; that can only be better done through regional and economic integration,” he said.
Speaking at the same event, SADC Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Lawrence-Tax, expressed happiness that “the current areas of SADC/Germany co-operation and the new priority areas that we have agreed on, which will be finalised during our bilateral negotiations in 2015, are all in line with the revised SADC RISDP.”
Lawrence-Tax said the revised four RISDP priorities for 2015-2020 are industrial development and market integration, adding that industrialisation is now the focus of their regional co-operation.
“Another priority is infrastructure in support of regional integration, peace and security co-operation; a region cannot have development, sustainable co-operation, if it is not politically stable and peaceful,” she said.
Another priority area, she said, is special programmes of regional dimension, which include natural resources and food security.
‘The objectives of SADC as promoting sustainable economic growth, socio-economic development and poverty eradication through regional co-operation and integration. Our special focus is on regional economic integration and infrastructure, peace, security and good governance, management and protection of biodiversity and resilience to climate change and SADC organisational capacity development,” said the executive secretary.