SADC recommits to aid Somalia
SADC countries have recommitted themselves to helping the people of Somalia with member countries on Friday emphasising the importance of solidarity with the poverty stricken country.
The bi-annual Southern African Development Community (SADC) Council of Ministers meeting held in Luanda, Angola also noted South Africa's contribution of US$4 million for airlifting and shipping of the contributions from SADC Members States of humanitarian aid to the people of Somalia.
The contributions were made concomitant to the SADC Summit decision in August 2011 last year.
At least six SADC member states, namely Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Zambia provided a total of 8073 tons of perishable and non-perishable goods, food stuffs and other relief supplies.
Meanwhile, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said SADC would continue to serve as the primary vehicle for South Africa's foreign policy in relation to regional development and integration within Southern Africa.
"South Africa's future remains inextricably linked to the future of the African continent and that of its neighbours in Southern Africa," the department said in a statement.
President Jacob Zuma, who also attended the meeting, used the opportunity to hold consultative talks with regional ministers to further consolidate South Africa's political and economic cooperation, focusing on a variety of SADC-initiated projects that the country is championing.
"SADC strives for balanced and equitable regional integration as a fundamental condition for sustainable development in the region and to free the people of the region from the scourges of unemployment, poverty and underdevelopment."
Angola is the current Chair of the SADC after taking over from Namibia last year.
South Africa is vying for the position of chairmanship of the African Union Commission and Zuma is understood to have also used his visit to Angola to gather support for Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma who is contesting the position.