WINDHOEK– South African Pres Cyril Ramaphosa considered peace and security as the main challenges for the southern region of Africa.

Ramaphosa was speaking as the outgoing President of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) during the 38th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Organization, which runs from Friday in the city of Windhoek, Namibia.

In his speech, the South African leader also pointed out the development of infrastructure, poverty reduction and communicable diseases as challenges to the stability of the region.

On the other hand, Ramaphosa spoke of the various actions of political, social and economic scope, carried out by the regional institution, and considered as “satisfactory”.

On the occasion, African Union acting President Paul Kagame said that the SADC region is one of the most important and can make a major contribution to the sustainable development of the African continent.

“There is a need for unity as the region has a long tradition of solidarity, marked by the struggle for the colonial liberation of the peoples,” said Paul Kagame, the current Head of State of Rwanda, who guaranteed full support from the African Union to SADC.

Angolan Pres JoAPound o Lourenco called for urgent need to make feasible the Peace Fund of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to immediately respond to the real and potential threats to stability in the region.

As Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation of SADC, JoAPound o Lourenco was speaking at 38th session of the Heads of State and Government of regional organisation, taking place between 17 and 18 August in the capital of Namibia.

Alluding to the fight against terrorism, he said that under Angolan Presidency the SADC launched a roadmap for implementation of a strategy and an action plan to prevent and combat this scourge.

“Terrorist actions are not restricted to our region but the world,” said JoAPound o Lourenco, who was concerned about the information on actions on DRC/Uganda border.

JoAPound o Lourenco was also concerned about the recent case reported on Mozambique-Tanzania border, targeted by attacks launched by terrorist groups with dangerous external connections.

In view of such actions, the President called on SADC member States to fully implement the said strategy and plan of action to combat the terrorism.

JoAPound o Lourenco strongly condemned all acts of terrorism at regional, continental and world level.

On gender issue, he urged the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and the regional strategy on women, peace and security.

The president spoke of the relevance of the transformation of the SADC Parliamentary Forum into the Regional Parliament.

This matter will also be part of SADC Summit agenda.

The Angolan Parliament Speaker, Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos, is attending the sessions of the Heads of State and Government to present the arguments on the transformation of Parliamentary Forum.

The SADC Parliamentary Forum was created in 1997 and comprises 14 Parliaments of the region.

SADC comprises Angola, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mauritius, Seychelles, Malawi, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Mozambique and Zambia.