A Delegation from the National Assembly, led by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Honourable Nicholas Prea, attended the 43rd Plenary Assembly Session of the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF) held in Luanda – Angola from 20th June to 02nd July 2018.
Other Members of the delegation included: Honourable Wavel Ramkalawan, Honourable Terence Mondon, Honourable Chantal Ghislain, Honourable Regina Esparon and Honourable Egbert Aglae. The SADC PF Desk Officer – Ms. Jelline Quatre, also formed part of the delegation.
It was the Angolan President João Lourenço who officially opened the Session which took place at the Palace of the National Assembly of Angola. President Lourenço urged Members to make concerted efforts towards the SADC Region’s industrialization and optimum use of its natural resources.
The President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Angola, Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos also delivered a powerful welcoming message in which he called for new and innovative strategies to promote rapid regional economic integration.
The Forum, held under the theme “Deepening SADC Economic Integration through Industrialization – The Role of Parliaments”, saw the representation of 12 SADC PF Member Parliaments at the Plenary. President Lourenço said the theme was appropriate given current socio-economic challenges within the SADC Region that include inability to respond to the needs of the youth in terms of employment.
The 43rd Plenary Assembly Session once again looked at ways of progressing from a simple Parliamentary Exchange Platform into a Regional Parliament. Discussions around the Forum related to bills for the amendments of the Constitution; SADC PF regulation; the Organizational Structure of the SADC PF Secretariat. A motion calling for concerted efforts to combat sexual harassment in the workplace throughout the region was also raised by Honourable Regina Esparon.
Side Note: The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Parliamentary Forum is an autonomous Institution established in 1997 and consists of 14 parliaments from the region, namely Angola, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Malawi, Republic Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Botswana, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mozambique, ESwatini (former Swaziland), Zambia and Seychelles.