EZULWINI-(MaraviPost): – The 15-member state Southern African Development Community (SADC), is on a stock-taking exercise of its existence with calls for youth economic empowerment and integration in all sectors of development.
The SADC’ extraordinary summit currently underway in Ezulwin, Kingdom of Swaziland, focuses on what the regional body has achieved and what it has failed since its inception in 1980.
The summit is reviewing the challenges the organization is facing such as slow ratification and domestication of protocols, gap between regional policies and national priorities, and limited or weak engagement with key stakeholders including business, civil society and academia.
The stock-taking will help the body identifying review strategies and programs that are not progressing, and advise SADC leaders the alternative way forward that would ensure speedy development in the region.
The extraordinary meeting, which will end on March 18, 2017, has been entitled the SADC Strategic Ministerial Retreat with the theme titled, “SADC that we want.”
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Francis Kasaila is leading Malawi delegation, and goes into the meeting with the call for the comprehensive economic policies for youth’s empowerment and integration.
Minister Kasaila told The Maravi Post in telephone interview that the region’s future lies in the youth as the drivers of the economy. He said that it was the appropriate time for SADC to prepare their future with unlimited opportunities although there are few resources.
The minister suggested that for the region to transform economically, each member state should be a champion of a particular sector from which the other nations could learn.
“The future which will be driven by knowledge-based economy, high technology with the youth taking a leading role in socio-economic development through comprehensive strategies. We want the future that fight increased cyber crime and security risks where people shall move or want to move freely, and the future that heavily depends on building effective alliances,” Kasaila said.
“The SADC we want, is the one that has a common purpose and vision that transcends politics and political boundaries in the quest to improve the welfare of our people, and to acceptable living standards. Our people should be able to live a decent life through our deliberate efforts as a region to empower them in economic activities,” he said.