Mr. Danny Faure President of the Republic of Seychelles on the Occasion of The 41st Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, 10th July 2017, Victoria, Seychelles.
- President of the SADC Parliamentary Forum and Speaker of the National Assembly of Angola, Honourable Fernando de Piedade Dias dos Santos
- The SADC PF Vice President, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa;
- The Host Speaker, Hon. Patrick Pillay and fellow Speakers of SADC National Parliaments;
- Honourable Leader of the Opposition of Seychelles, Hon.Wavel Ramkalawan;
- Honourable Leader of Government Business of Seychelles, Hon.Charles Decommarmond;
- Chairperson of the Regional Women’s Parliamentary Caucus, Dr Jessie Kabwila;
- Honourable Members of Parliament from SADC National Parliaments;
- The Secretary General of SADC PF, Dr Esau Chiviya;
- Distinguished invited Guests and Observers;
- Staff of SADC PF Secretariat;
- Staff of National Parliaments here present;
- Members of the Media;
- Ladies and gentlemen;
I want to express a warm welcome to all of you, distinguished parliamentarians to this 41st Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC Parliamentary Forum. May I extend a special word of welcome to those visiting Seychelles for the first time. I trust that you will have a memorable stay in our country and we look forward to your next visit.
We thank the SADC Parliamentary Forum together with the Seychelles National Assembly for having chosen Seychelles as the venue for this most important Plenary Assembly Session and it is indeed an honour for us to host this auspicious event for the first time.
I was once privileged to serve as a member of Seychelles National Assembly. Since that time, I have reserved a special place in my heart for this most important institution, and its pivotal role in amplifying the voice and will of the people.
I have no doubt that during your stay in our country you will be able to feel the pulse and heartbeat of our young evolving democracy and the dynamics of our nation as we continue to shape our future and our destiny as one People.
Honourable Members, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Africa is in the middle of a process of massive transformation. The continent is home to about seven of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies. It has rich natural resources , a young population and scope for growth. Around the globe, companies and countries alike are turning to Africa’s promise. It is a continent of hope with immense potential.
However, the continent still has many developmental challenges to overcome. In the context of globalization, regional integration is imperative for Africa. But effective implementation of regional frameworks will only take root in healthy and democratic environments where economic management is transparent and accountable. Building this kind of political and economic security requires that we think and act regionally and continentally in the spirit of solidarity and shared commitment.
Indeed, the globalized world economy demands that we act as organized regions to give ourselves the best chance of turning that hope into tangible improvements in the quality of lives of our population – including the reinforcement of the values of democracy and good governance.
In a well-cited quote, former United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, noted ‘’that good governance is perhaps the single most important factor in eradicating poverty and promoting development’’. In our specific case, it has definitely reaped dividends and catalyzed our progress towards High Income status.
Seychelles relationship and cooperation with SADC draws its strength from our collective solidarity, these democratic values, nurtured by a common purpose for progress; peace; security; freedom; social justice and prosperity for the peoples of Southern Africa.
In this context, Seychelles reaffirms its commitment to the vision, objectives and programmes of SADC towards regional integration. We are undertaking the process of regional integration in order to achieve strong, sustainable economic growth and to become major and effective actors in world governance.
In order to achieve an effective and transparent regional integration process, we purposefully need to ensure the meaningful participation of the people and institutions of SADC. Parliament is the embodiment of representative democracy and its untapped potential to deepen SADC’s regional integration should be appreciated and recognised. The recognition we can give to the SADC Parliamentary Forum for its contribution in advancing the region’s democracy, governance peace and development agenda is to earnestly consider its quest for transformation into a Regional Parliament.
This is an aim and objective which the Government of Seychelles shares and fully support. In this context, the setting up of a SADC Regional Parliament will build more stable foundations for peace and security, better promote the implementation of policies, democratic standards and best practices resulting in greater political stability, more sustainable economic development and increased regional integration.
The Leaders, Governments, and people of southern Africa will use the SADC Regional Parliament to share best practice and developments in governance and socio-economic advancements.
Honourable Members, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is heartening to note that the 41st Plenary Assembly Session is meeting under the theme ‘’HARNESSING THE DEMOGRAPHIC DIVIDEND IN SADC THROUGH INVESTMENTS IN YOUTH.’’ This theme is in line with the Commemoration of the of the African Union’s 54th anniversary and in line with the Orgainsation’s vison 2063. The adoption of this vision is a colossal milestone towards inclusive development of our continent and empowerment of our people.
Today, the theme provides us with the opportunity to continue valorizing our youth with more vigour and dynamism. The involvement of youth in the development of our continent and indeed in southern Africa will mean more inclusive participation and development. Our youth are an extraordinary asset to our region.
The theme therefore reminds us of the urgency to provide platforms, opportunities, support and resources to enable them to be true drivers for continued and increased sustainable development, progress, peace and advancement of our region. There is need to open new horizons, new avenues for our youth’s development. We are here to help them shape a better future and in doing so harness the potential of the next generation.
Our youth will change southern Africa. Our youth will make Africa better. Our youth will make the world better.
I have no doubt that it is in this spirit that you will deliberate on this most important theme as well as on other issues of regional importance.
It is now my honour and privilege to declare this 41st Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC Parliamentary Forum officially open.
I wish you fruitful deliberations.
I THANK YOU.