Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi officially opening the two day meeting
|Story by George Sanzila
Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi has welcomed the expert meeting on production of resource material on national liberation movements in the SADC region that started today (24/04/18). The two day meeting organized by UNESCO, is aimed at documenting the roles played by liberation movements in the SADC region and creating awareness of linkages in order to promote unity. Experts from various SADC countries are gathered for the meeting that is hosted by Namibia.
Katjavivi further revealed that similar projects have been undertaken in the past, urging for more comprehensive and quality research and documentation. “This project is closely following in the footsteps of a similar project which was named the SADC Hashim Mbita project that covered SADC liberation struggles from 1960 – 1994. The government of Namibia in partnership with the University of Namibia have also embarked upon a similar project called, the history of the Namibian liberation struggle. We need to find out more and ensure quality control”, cautioned Katjavivi.
Katjavivi also chairs the Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC) that is forming part of the project and an institution that 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.
The Director of the UNESCO Regional office, Prof. Hubert Gijzen noted that the project will help address contemporary challenges such as that of xenophobia that are stifling unity and development in the region. “The aim is to utilize the diverse experiences of the liberation struggle in Southern Africa to help the region address its contemporary challenges of xenophobia and other forms of discrimination as well as to promote tolerance, unity and social cohesion”, stated Gijzen.
According to Prof. Gijzen, the Southern African region serves a beacon of hope in terms of peace and development but paradoxically faces many socio economic and political challenges hence the project that seeks to raise awareness and impart knowledge on the inter connectedness of the region.
“Southern Africa is the most developed and most peaceful region in Sub Saharan Africa. These are excellent pre conditions to allow sustainable growth and social transformation. However, there are challenges and social divisions and tensions. The SADC region is the highest with inequalities globally. We have also witnessed in recent years a rise of civil unrest and xenophobia.” bemoaned Gijzen.