New SADC chair Mswati reveals plans to set up regional university

2016-08-31 12:53
King Mswati III. (File: AFP)

King Mswati III. (File: AFP)

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Lobamba - King Mswati of Swaziland has been appointed as the new chairperson of the Southern African Developmental Community (SADC), taking over from Botswana President Ian Khama whose one-year term as head of the regional body expired recently, reports said on Wednesday. 

The handover in leadership was made official at the opening ceremony of the 36th SADC Ordinary summit at Lozitha Palace in Ezulwini, Swaziland.

According to Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Mswati, in his acceptance speech affirmed his commitment to fulfill the organisation's objectives as set by its founding fathers.

"SADC and the African continent as a whole had relied too much on donors and some of the projects had failed to take off when partners had no money. This calls for the region to remain united and to speak with one voice at all times," Mswati was quoted as saying.

Mswati also, according to Herald, revealed plans to establish a SADC university by August 2017.

"The kingdom of Swaziland wishes to dedicate the establishment of a SADC University of Transformation, which will be our next milestone in our journey which started in 1990. The university will deliver in education and training terms, using the technical vocational training model of delivery," Mswati was quoted as saying.

Outgoing chairpeson Khama, in a speech noted the challenges faced by the SADC such as the deteriorating water situation in the region exacerbated by the El Nino induced drought, adding that 40 million people in the region were food insecure.

Khama took over the SADC chairmanship from Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe in August last year, a move viewed by analysts as having given the bloc "some long-sought teeth to reject dictatorship, rights abuses and electoral fraud in the sub-region", according to Daily News.

Read more on:    sadc  |  king maswati iii  |  swaziland  |  southern africa

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