By Felix Andrew
THE Southern African Development Community (SADC)’s extra ordinary summit of Heads of State and government has extended the contract of Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Tax.
Following extension, Dr Tax who is a Tanzanian national will serve the office effectively from now until the year 2021.
The announcement was made by the outgoing SADC chairperson, King Mswati 111 of Swaziland who handed over the chairmanships to South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma.
Dr Tax is the sixth Executive Secretary of Organisation and the first woman to take the responsibility.
Dr Stergomena Tax.
Prior to her appointment as executive secretary at the 33rd SADC Summit held in Malawi in August, Tax has been permanent secretary in the Tanzanian Ministry of East African Cooperation since 2008.
“My goal is to continue strengthening regional integration and cooperation that has existed in SADC since its formation,” Tax told journalists after the SADC extra ordinary meeting.
She said her main focus will continue be on infrastructure development since it is critical in expanding the market and the growth of the economies of the member states.
Apart from Dr Tax, other Tanzanian women occupied top posts in the UN system including Dr Asha Rose Migiro who was Deputy Secretary-General and Prof Anna Tibaijuka who held was a Director of UN Habitat, and Getrude Mongela who was the first President of the Pan-African Parliament.
SADC has cordial relations with emerging economies such as the BRICS group comprising Brazil, Russia, India and China, as well as South Africa, which is also a SADC member state.
With respect to the tripartite arrangement involving the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the East African Community (EAC), she said SADC is committed to establishing an enlarged market covering 26 countries in eastern and southern Africa.
Tax takes over from Tomaz Augusto Salomão of Mozambique who has served two four-year terms as SADC executive secretary.