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Johannesburg - Stability and democracy are vital for the development of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said Monday.
“SADC will never achieve regional development and true integration without regional stability and democratic governance,” she said at the opening of a SADC ministerial meeting in Pretoria.
Nkoana-Mashabane said stability and democracy would also help SADC nations improve their economies and spur their own development.
The meeting would consider Madagascar's political crisis and elections throughout the region, she said.
The SADC ministers would also hear a report on “the security situation in the region”, including the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Nkoana-Mashabane thanked her counterparts for their support in the election of Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as chairwoman of the African Union Commission.
“We argued successfully that the southern region is long overdue in having its chance to lead this august continental body.”
She said the SADC countries had resolved to back Dlamini-Zuma at previous meetings held in Angola and Pretoria.
“I am elated that we succeeded in this venture and am especially humbled by the unwavering support in word and in deed that led to the historical outcome achieved in Addis Ababa,” Nkoana-Mashabane said. - Sapa