CAPE TOWN - Germany handed over teleconferencing conference equipment to the Secretariat of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to strengthen the capacity of the Secretariat and the Member States to coordinate and implement the SADC regional integration agenda, the regional bloc said in a statement on Friday.
Ambassador of Germany to Botswana and Special Representative to SADC, Margit Hellwig-Bötte, presented the equipment on behalf of the German Government to the SADC Executive Secretary, Elias M. Magosi on March 2.
In receiving the equipment, Magosi reiterated SADC’s appreciation to Germany for the timely support, which, he said, will go a long way in enhancing SADC’s capacity in teleconferencing, virtual engagement, and communication within the SADC Secretariat, and with the 16 SADC member states during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond, said a statement.
Magosi indicated that the Covid-19 pandemic had offered organisations, like SADC, an opportunity to embrace innovative approaches and technologies that support business continuity, especially in the coordination and management of SADC meetings in the event of unforeseen travel disruptions.
Furthermore, the executive secretary pledged to ensure the speedy delivery of the equipment to the SADC National Contact Points in the member states.
Margit Hellwig-Bötte said Germany cherished the digital cooperation with SADC in times of Covid-19 and beyond, hence the response of the German government to support SADC with the teleconference equipment.
Ambassador Hellwig-Bötte highlighted that as a result of Covid-19, the past two years have been an eye-opener for everyone around the world in terms of digitalisation, and that now and in the future, crucial communication and meetings will be conducted remotely and will complement face-to-face proceedings.
The equipment, which comprises laptops, video cameras, monitors, IT accessories and licences, was procured through the “GIZ Strengthening the National-Regional Linkages in SADC” (SNRL) Programme. The GIZ SNRL Programme supports SADC member states so that they can better coordinate, monitor and mobilise resources to implement the regional agenda.
The teleconferencing equipment will be used at the SADC Secretariat in Gaborone, SADC Satellite Offices such as Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre (RPTC) in Harare, Zimbabwe, the Climate Services Centre in Botswana and SADC Plant and Genetic Resource Centre (SPGRC) in Lusaka, Zambia as well as in all the 16 SADC member states offices of the SADC National Contact Points, said SADC.