GIS – December 2, 2013: Southern African Development Community (SADC) Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister, Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam, GCSK, FRCP, on 29 November 2013 at Treasury Building, in Port Louis.
Dr Tax was appointed by the SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government during its 33rd meeting in Lilongwe, Malawi, and was sworn in on August 18, 2013. Dr Tax took over from Dr Tomaz Augusto Salomão, a Mozambican national who held that position from September 01, 2005 until August 31, 2013 and whose predecessors were from Zimbabwe, Namibia and Mauritius respectively.
In a statement after her meeting with the Mauritian Prime Minister, Dr Tax elaborated on the new orientations being given to the regional bloc. ‘SADC has been there for quite some time and it has its regional strategic plan. So we have to make sure to consolidate what has already been done and refocus on a few key prioritised interventions and areas which really will result in visible output but also visible impact’, she said.
The focus of SADC now is on infrastructure development because it has multiple effects on a number of sectors. Infrastructure development also takes into account the specificities of the different member states, stated Dr Tax. The new dimension is to make sure that we get resources for infrastructure development, moving away from traditional ways of mobilising resources and coming up with innovative ways, she added.
A national of the United Republic of Tanzania, Dr Lawrence Tax is the 5th SADC Executive Secretary and is the first woman to ascend to the helm of the executive arm of SADC in the past 33 years of the regional body’s existence.
Dr Tax has a proven academic and work track record of serving the Government and people of her country in various capacities as a Civil Servant, a Researcher and a Consultant. Prior to being appointed SADC Executive Secretary, Dr Tax held the position of Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade Industries and Marketing, and the Ministry of East African Cooperation.
On the academic level, Dr Tax’s holds, amongst other qualifications, a Doctor of Philosophy in Development Economics, a Master of Philosophy in Policy Management and Development Economics obtained from the University Tsukuba, Japan, a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance obtained from the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and a Diploma in Business Administration from the College of Business Administration, (CBE), in Dodoma also in the United Republic of Tanzania.
During her two-day visit to Mauritius, Dr Tax also had meetings with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Dr Arvin Boolell, as well as the Ag Secretary for Foreign Affairs.
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