SA, Namibia to bring SADC members closer

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pretoria - South Africa and Namibia are expected to deepen efforts for the integration of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

President Jacob Zuma, who is in Namibia for a working visit, will co-chair the 11th Session of the Heads of State Economic Bilateral Meeting with his counterpart President Hifikepunye Pohamba.

The gathering will be used to reflect on the progress made on mutual agreements since the two countries met in Pretoria in November last year.

Zuma said the cooperation between Windhoek and Pretoria offered real prospects for mutual development and growth, while at the same time expands economic opportunities and investment.

"In this regard, we note with satisfaction the excellent progress reported by the Ministers who have met over the past few weeks and who have made significant strides in the various fields of co-operation ...and pertinent issues relating to the integration of the SADC region," he said on Thursday.

He said Namibia and South Africa should establish a symbiotic link between broader continental efforts as well as those of the region for infrastructure development.

"In this regard, we should spare no efforts in increasing the momentum of integration between SADC, [Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa] COMESA and EAC [East African Community]. This tripartite economic project holds real prospects for contributing to continental efforts aimed at increasing intra-Africa trade."

Zuma noted that the challenges that lie ahead for the region were huge but not impractical. He was convinced that through joint efforts, countries can also defeat poverty and underdevelopment.