SADC countries to open development fund – Kasaila

The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region countries have agreed to open development fund that will help in developing the region.

Led Malawi's delegation Kasaila - Pic by Chikondi Chimala, Mana
Led Malawi’s delegation Kasaila – Pic by Chikondi Chimala, Mana

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Francis Kasaila said the SADC Regional Development Fund (RDF) will focus on industrial development, infrastructure development, economic and integration adjustment, and social development.

“Member States will be required to contribute to the Seed Capital of the Fund to the tune of US$120million for the next three years commencing from the 2017/2018 SADC Budget.

“Other sources of financing the Fund will be from the private sector and the international cooperating partners (ICPs),” said Kasaila.

Kasaila was speaking to the journalist in Lilongwe after attending the 36th Ordinary Session of the SADC Summit held in Mbabane, Swaziland.

He said the summit was held under the theme “Mobilize Resources for Investment in Sustainable Energy Infrastructure for Inclusive Industrialization and for the Prosperity of the Region.”

Kasaila further said in the spirit of SADC Protocol on Education and Training aimed at establishing and promoting regional Centres of specialization and Centres of excellences for effective education and training, King Mswati III of Swaziland launched the SADC University for Transformation at the Summit.

“In this regard the Government of Swaziland will offer scholarships to 300 students from the 15 member states, representing 20 per country,” said Kasaila.

He said the education programme which will commence in 2017 will focus on the youth in areas such as entrepreneurship, innovation and technical vocational training model coincidentally; this is in line with the President’s agenda on youth development and empowerment.

Commenting on the food insecurity in the region, the Minister thanked the international community for the food assistance provided to the region thus far.

“I want to express appreciation to the countries with maize surplus, in particular the Government of Zambia on its good intention to export maize to the country shortly.

“I also thank the Governments of Mozambique and Tanzania for facilitating logistical transportation on humanitarian food destined for Malawi,” The Minister explained.

The Summit elected King Mswati III of the Kingdom of Swaziland and Jacob Zuma President of the Republic of South Africa as the new Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson of SADC respectively.

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