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President João Lourenço Visits SADC Secretariat, Calls for Enhanced Integration and Development

His Excellency João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, President of Angola and Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), visited the SADC Secretariat in Gaborone, Botswana, on 14 June 2024 to reinforce commitments towards regional integration and sustainable development.

During his official visit, President Lourenço underscored the significant strides made by SADC while emphasizing the need for sustained progress to achieve a strong, industrialized, and fully integrated Southern Africa.

He praised the SADC Secretariat for its effective implementation of development programs and initiatives, particularly in areas crucial to regional prosperity such as peacekeeping and infrastructure development.

Highlighting the importance of the SADC Free Trade Area (FTA), President Lourenço urged for streamlined procedures to bolster intra-regional trade and enhance economic growth across member states.

He cited recent cooperative efforts among Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Zambia in establishing the Lobito Corridor as a pivotal step towards facilitating trade and economic collaboration.

President Lourenço also emphasized the critical role of sustainable energy in driving industrialization efforts within the region, urging member states to harness the abundant energy potential of Southern Africa through projects in hydroelectric, wind, and solar energy.

In response, the SADC Executive Secretary, Mr. Elias M. Magosi, reaffirmed the Secretariat’s commitment to advancing the 2020-2030 Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RIDSP).

He stressed the need for innovative approaches to address current challenges, including climate change mitigation, energy security, and enhancing intra-regional trade.

The visit concluded with President Lourenço’s exploration of the Julius Nyerere Library at the SADC Secretariat, where he commended the preservation of the region’s history and engaged in strategic discussions with the SADC Management Team to further strengthen collaborative efforts towards regional integration.

Source: SADC

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