The Southern African Development Community (SADC) remains committed to operationalise the Decision of the 40th Summit of Heads of State and Government to establish the SADC Humanitarian and Emergency Centre (SHOC), the SADC Deputy Executive Secretary for Regional Integration, Dr. Thembinkosi Mhlongo, has said.
Speaking during a courtesy call by the Japan Ambassador to Botswana and Representative to SADC, His Excellency Hoshiyama Takashi, on the 10th September 2021, Dr Mhlongo commended Japan for her commitment in cooperating with SADC both at national and regional level.
The two parties discussed ways to cement the existing bilateral cooperation and highlighted the need to collaborate in addressing the impact of disaster risk and the regional humanitarian situation, as well as on Peace and Stability in the Region.
This follows an endorsement by the SADC Council of Ministers of the offer by the Government of Mozambique to host the SHOC. The Government of Mozambique donated land and a building in Nacala, Nampula Province, that was inaugurated in June 2021 by the President of the Republic of Mozambique, His Excellency Filipe Jacinto Nyusi.
Once operational, the Centre will coordinate regional humanitarian efforts on natural disasters which are increasing and affecting all Member States, such as cyclones Idai, Kenneth and Eloise which caused wanton destruction in some parts of SADC Member States in 2019 and early in 2021.
H.E. Ambassador Takashi, who was accompanied to the meeting by Researcher Advisor, Mr. Sakamoto Ryuichi, thanked Dr Mhlongo for the opportunity to meet. He also congratulated the SADC Secretariat for the smooth transition of SADC Executive Secretary Office as Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax’s term of office came to an end and was replaced by Mr. Elias Mpedi Magosi on 31st August 2021.
He further shared information on the New Approach for Peace and Stability in Africa (NAPSA) which was announced at the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) held in Yokohama in 2019. The NAPSA will work in cooperation with the African Union and Regional Economic Communities such as SADC to support conflict prevention and mediation efforts as well as building the enabling environments for peace and stability.
The two parties reiterated their commitment to further engage and explore other potential areas of cooperation for the benefit of the citizenry in the SADC Region.
The meeting was also attended by the SADC Deputy Executive Secretary for Cooperate Affairs, Ambassador Joseph Nourrice, the Director for Policy Planning and Resources Mobilisation, Mr Mubita Luwabelwa, and the Senior Programme Officer for the Disaster Risk Reduction Unit, Mrs Sithembiso Gina.