"SADC Success Stories" launched

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On 14 August, the Executive Secretary of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, launched at the 37th SADC Summit in Pretoria the second edition of the SADC Success Stories Book. "For a long time, our region has been painted by stories of diseases, conflict, hunger and poverty. But as a region, we have moved many steps in the positive direction. Today, we are here to send a clear message that we have positive stories to tell," said Dr Tax.

Dr Tax added: "Thanks to the dreams of our founding fathers, through regional integration, SADC is slowly but surely realising regional economic transformation and sustainable socio-economic development".

The publication is one of the Secretariat's tools to communicate SADC programmes to the SADC citizens to enhance awareness about the positive impact such programmes have on communities and lives of the people in the region. The first and second volume was produced with support from German Development Cooperation.

Each success story, covering SADC achievements in agriculture and agricultural research, climate change, financial services, industrialisation and regional value chains, infrastructure, peace, security and conflict mediation, tourism and conservation, trade, and water, highlights the links between regional policy-making, national implementation, and the tangible benefits for SADC citizens.

The first edition of the SADC Success Stories, which was launched in 2015, reached over one million SADC citizens through the print brochure, videos and social media.

In his remarks, the German Ambassador to Botswana and Observer to SADC, His Excellency Mr Ralf Andreas Breth, said the Federal Government of Germany remained committed to supporting SADC in its efforts to develop even more success stories of regional integration for the benefit of the people in Southern Africa.

"Southern Africa is a region of tremendous opportunities, and regional integration has great potential to improve peoples’ lives in SADC member states," said Ambassador Breth, adding that stories were an innovative way to make SADC achievements visible for the people of the SADC region.

He said since 1990s, Germany had supported SADC with a total amount of around 400 million euros, in addition to bilateral development cooperation with eight of the 15 SADC member states.