Photo: Daily News
The executive secretary of the SADC, Dr Stergomena Tax

Tanzania handed over the Southern African Development Community’s organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation (SADC-Troika) to Angola as the 37th Heads of State Summit of the regional bloc was concluded in South Africa on Saturday.

“The meeting expressed their special thanks to troika chairman, President John Magufuli; although he was not present, he was well represented by Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan,” The Minister for Foreign Affairs and East Africa Corporation, Dr Augustine Mahiga, explained.

Dr Mahiga explained further that a resolution was passed to enable the President’s representatives to address issues that were before the troika.

“In general, we did our work well as Troika chair and handed over the responsibilities to Angola, which will be the Troika chair. Tanzania will continue being its member,” the minister explained.

The Executive Secretary of SADC, Dr Stergomena Tax, expressed appreciation to President Magufuli and the nation for allowing her to continue at the post.

“When you are in a position like this, they look at your work, the belief and trust that your country has in you and therefore I appreciate all the support I am receiving from my country; this is very important. If your country doesn’t support you, the other member countries will also not feel you should continue,” she explained.

Dr Tax added: “I have received a lot of support and cooperation from my colleagues…as the Executive Secretary you are working with personnel from all 15 member countries. Working as a team has been very instrumental.”

Dr Tax is the sixth Executive Secretary and first female Executive Secretary of the SADC.

She was appointed by the SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government during its 33rd meeting in Lilongwe, Malawi, and was sworn in on August 18, 2013.

Meanwhile, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Executive Secretary, Vera Songwe, has said that Africa cannot afford to leave its development agenda to the whims of unpredictable factors that are beyond its control.

Speaking on leveraging the private sector to create regional and global value chains, she remarked: “SADC is a continental leader on many fronts; however recent macro-economic challenges indicate the need for more focus on key priorities such as regional integration, infrastructure and domestic resources mobilization in order to provide a more prosperous environment for its citizens and especially the youth.”

She encouraged SADC leaders to build on their comparative advantages and move rapidly to begin implementation of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap (2015-2063) supported by the ECA.

Ms Songwe said with world growth prospects remaining modest at 3.5 per cent for this year, and trade and investment opportunities contracting both in the developed and developing countries, Africa must continually look for homegrown and creative solutions to its problems.