Tanzania is proud of the achievements of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), during the past one year of chairmanship of His Excellency Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania.
The achievements were announced by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania, Hon. Prof. Palamagamba John Kabudi at the 40th SADC Council of Ministers Virtual Meeting which was held on 13 August 2020 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
During the meeting, Prof. Kabudi handed over the chairmanship of the SADC Council of Ministers to the High Commissioner of Mozambique in Tanzania, H. E. Monica P. Clemente, on behalf of the incoming Chairperson, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Mozambique, Hon. Verónica Nataniel Macamo Dlhovo.
In his opening remarks, Prof. Kabudi highlighted that despite the uncertainties imposed by COVID-19, the SADC has continued to discharge its functions, its meetings under the leadership of Tanzania with great efficiency through video conferences.
"I say this has been great achievement because other regional organizations have not done so. We are the only regional bloc that started almost immediately conducting virtual meetings after realizing that COVID- 19 as a challenge would not stop us from carrying on our business”.he said.
He also said that apart from combating the COVID 19 pandemic, other achievements included; adopting Kiswahili as the fourth official language of the organization, along with English, Portuguese and French.
"Kiswahili in Tanzania was the language of African liberation movements. It was used as a teaching language for freedom fighters during liberation of African nations and especially in the SADC region," said Prof. Kabudi.
Prof. Kabudi cited other achievements made during Tanzania's tenure as drafting and adopting the Guidelines on movement of goods and services across the SADC region during COVID-19 as well as the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). The guidelines and the SOPs have greatly facilitated movement of essential goods, and gradually movement of all goods and services. This milestone contributed not only to containment of the spread of COVID-19, but also enabled the mitigation of socio-economic hardships to SADC citizens, while minimizing disruptions to economic activities in the region.
Prof. Kabudi further noted that Tanzania has facilitated the implementation of the SADC Industrial agenda during COVID -19. “We have been able to increase our regional pharmaceutical manufacturing capacities of manufacturing drugs and Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) as the world's largest nations stopped selling drugs and PPEs in other countries during COVID-19 pandemic in order to use the drugs and PPEs within their countries for containment of the spread of COVID-19”, he asserted.
"We believe that the foundation laid during COVID-19 pandemic will strengthen our efforts to have an industrial economy, a middle income and a high income economy. For us (Tanzania), it has been a great comfort to attain the middle income status even before the target of 2025," added Prof. Kabudi.
Hon. Prof, Kabudi further expressed his satisfaction on the extent on which the democratic governance has continued to flourish during Tanzania’s chairmanship. "Botswana, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia and Mozambique have all held peaceful and successful elections. It has clearly shown that our region remained peaceful and stable during the year, and continued to uphold SADC democratic principles”, he said.
In her acceptance remarks, the High Commissioner of Mozambique to Tanzania, H. E. Monica Clemente congratulated the President of the United Republic of Tanzania and current Chairperson of SADC, His Excellency Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli for his stellar performance during the past one year as the Chairman of the organization.
She further said that President Magufuli has done great things for SADC Member States and has been a mentor to other countries due to the progress made during his tenure as SADC chair.
"Mozambique is very grateful to receive the SADC chairmanship and pledge to do our utmost to continue all that Tanzania has done during her tenure. Tanzania has been a teacher to us and other SADC Member States," she said.
The 40th SADC Council of Ministers Virtual Meeting was also attended by the Minister of Finance and Planning, Hon. Dr. Philip Mpango, Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Hon. Ummy Mwalimu, Minister of Constitution and Law, Hon. Dr. Mwigulu Nchemba, Minister of Industry and Trade, Hon. Innocent Bashungwa.