Hon. Prof. Peter H. Katjavivi, (middle), Speaker of the National Assembly and Chairperson of SARDC with other board members during the SARDC meeting in Windhoek, Namibia
Story by George Sanzila
The Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC) is holding a two day board meeting in Windhoek, Namibia.
SARDC which is chaired by the Speaker of the Namibian National Assembly, Hon. Prof. Peter H. Katjavivi is an independent regional knowledge resource center established in 1985 based in Harare, Zimbabwe. The institution produces research and information that aids development policies in Southern Africa focusing on 15 SADC member states in partnership with several research institutes that make up the body. SARDC has also reinforced its relations with universities and think tanks in China as part of its capacity building strategies.
Hon. Prof. Katjavivi who officially opened the meeting today (30/01/17) praised the SARDC secretariat for what he termed an impressive research output over the years regarding socio economic matters in the SADC region. “As an organization, our mandate is very clear. SARDC’s role is to document critical issues in relation to SADC region’s socio economic landscape and disseminate such information to stakeholders, especially policy makers. In this regard, I must congratulate our team for a job well done. We are familiar with the impressive research output that SARDC secretariat produces”, said Katjavivi.
Apart from thanking the SARDC secretariat, Hon. Katjavivi further paid tribute to the founding patron of the institution, former and founding President of the Republic of Tanzania, H.E. Mwalimu Nyerere. “The founding patron of SARDC was H.E. Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere. Indeed the late President Nyerere made immense contribution towards the emancipation of the African continent and inspired many positive initiatives including the visionary foundation upon which SARDC commenced its work”, reminisced Katjavivi.
SARDC has already honoured the memory of Nyerere through various initiatives such as the publication of a book titled Julius Nyerere: Asante sana, Thank you, the naming of the SARDC premises in Harare as Julius K. Nyerere House and a public lecture.
According to Hon. Prof. Katjavivi the process of regional integration has been very slow and the provision of knowledge based information is critical in the acceleration of the implementation of that vision. “Regional integration is very important as the region should be moving together. The process has been very slow, I must say. We need to network much often and we should never be satisfied with the little progress but continue to beat the drums of total change”, implored Katjavivi.
SARDC has worked very closely with SADC focusing on pertinent issues such as energy and renewable energy, industrialisation, media support, gender, environment, water resources and climate change.
SARDC consists of 12 board members from various countries and disciplines and over 35 staff members who make up the secretariat.
The meeting ends tomorrow, 31 January 2017.