In his first pronouncements as the new head of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the former ambassador of Angola to the United Nations, Ismael Martins, said he would focus on peace and economic development in southern Africa.
Martins was speaking at the 43rd Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government, held in Luanda recently where Angola took over the rotating presidency of the region for two years.
For the retired ambassador, it is good that the countries of the region look to Angola as an important partner to solve the problems of peace and security, and above all, issues relating to the economy.
He considered it essential that during Angola’s mandate the region become a base for the production of goods for the rest of the continent and the world.
For the diplomat, Angola is “a very important country in the region” which must focus on tough issues to grow and assert itself, as well as gather the necessary resources to bring solutions to many problems common to SADC member states.
He recommended the strengthening of Angola’s relations with countries such as South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The regional organisation comprises Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.