Sunday, May 26, 2013

SADC urges implementation of national policies
By Kombe Chimpinde in Addis Ababa
Fri 24 May 2013, 14:00 CAT

COMMENT - Maybe the MDC and MMD are listening. - Mrk

SOUTHERN African Development Community secretary general Tomaz Salomão says African states should exert their efforts in implementing clear independent strategies of managing domestic affairs away from reliance on regional integration or external intervention for development.

He said it was the sum of these efforts of different member states that would consolidate and strengthen integration to make it more beneficial.

Dr Salomão was responding to a question on what benefits member-states were accruing from the annual a thousand-dollar subscription to AU beyond the dream of liberalisation of fellow countries, which has now been achieved.

He said implementation of long term national visions and ensuring lasting peace was key for all member states of AU.

"We need to have a long term view, whether it is at national, regional or continental level," Dr Salomão said. "Today we are celebrating 50 years of AU, you look back, you take stock where we failed, where we had lack of clarity on how we managed our affairs and where we succeeded. We need to asses ourselves on how we manage to lift ourselves out of poverty, with better skills, better education, better health, quality of life and economic performance."

He cited an example of conflicts in Africa that continue to retard development of those citizens affected and earn the region a bad perception.

"It is how nationals of each country manage their internal problems. For instance, does AU (some member states) have internal fights? Yes, because we are failing to attend to our domestic problems in an
inclusive manner that is the problem in those countries where you have conflicts," Dr Salomão said.

"That is important to reflect on because there is a problem in how we are attending to our internal problems on those war-torn countries and we need to draw lessons from those errors, to improve,
it does not have anything to do with AU. If the parties concerned in the conflicts are failing to deal with them, AU only has the moral obligation to help and bring the parties together to talk and dialogue."

On how SADC, would fit into the new adopted '2063' vision of AU, which will be launched today and adopted at the 21st summit of heads of states and government, Dr Salomão said SADC was taking stock of the lessons that could be improved upon to develop the Southern African region.

He, however, emphasised the need for African states to concentrate on mobilising their domestic resources for development.

"They (partners) are here in Africa to deal with their own business. We need to have long term visions on how to do this," Dr Salomão said. "I understand and think that African countries have less than 50 years, in fifty years as a nation, you can't do much especially when you take in consideration what we inherited from the past. That is why there isneed for a clear strategy," said Dr Salomão.

Some of the states that are currently marred with internal conflicts are Mali, Sudan, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Madagascar, Egypt, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea Bissau and Sahrawi Republic (Western Sahara), which is still fighting to be independent.

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