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Madagascar,Mauritius : SADC Summit: Dr. Ramgoolam Calls for Vibrant Participation from Member States.

Mauritius has called for a more dynamic initiative from Member States of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) so as to improve the situation in Madagascar.

Addressing the 33rd Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the SADC that was held on 17 and 18 August at Lilongwe in Malawi, the Prime Minister, Dr. Navinchandra Ramgoolam stressed that Member States should direct a stronger statement to the Malagasy political actors who have not been able to concur on the way forward to restore the democratic process.

The Prime Minister stated that it will not be in the interest of Madagascar only, but for the region also, that the Malagasy people regain their rights to choose a government through free and fair elections within a shortest delay.

While recognising the positive developments, in particular, the setting up of the Special Electoral Court, Dr. Ramgoolam said that Mauritius as a neighbor to Madagascar is a front player in helping to find a democratic solution to the crisis faced by the country. Consequently, Mauritius has pledged to contribute US$ 500 000 for the organisation of general elections in Madagascar.

Speaking on the HIV/AIDS issue, the Prime Minister made an appeal to Member States to engage themselves in an intense lobbying so as to mobilise additional contributions to the Global Fund of $ 15 billion set up to fight HIV AIDS scourge in Southern Africa. Mentioning the Mauritian experience, the Prime Minister declared that the measures taken by the country to mitigate the effects of HIV/AIDS have been effective and that other African countries have followed suit by adopting similar measures.

On the development side, Mauritius has made ??a request so that the specificities of Small Island Developing States are taken into consideration in the formulation and funding of SADC regional infrastructure development programme for Member States.

Food security was also the focus of lengthy discussions during the Summit, and the potential of the region to attain food self-sufficiency was recognised. In this context, a special Ministers of Agriculture Meeting will be held soon.

The Mauritian delegation to the Summit was made up of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Dr. Arvin Boolell, the Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service, Mr. Suresh Chandra Seeballuck, and other high officials.

The Summit ended on a double high note for African women empowerment. In fact, Mrs. Joyce Banda, President of the Republic of Malawi is the new chairperson of the SADC. This event coincides with the election of Dr. Stergomena Tax, economist from the United Republic of Tanzania, as SADC executive secretary. She succeeds Mozambican Tomax Augusto Salomao.

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Publication:Mena Report
Geographic Code:6MAUI
Date:Aug 20, 2013
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