COVID  19: First SADC video conferencing kicks off in Dar

17Mar 2020
Henry Mwangonde
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
COVID  19: First SADC video conferencing kicks off in Dar

DESPITE the destruction it has caused, the deadly Corona virus has also unleashed some positive aspects providing technological advancement opportunities to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) as the first video conferencing for high level senior officials kicked off yesterday.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Colonel Wilbert Ibuge .

This also gives chance to member states to learn the best ways to interact without meeting face to face in the future. Officials said that decisions to conduct meetings through video conferencing portray the technological potential the bloc owns.

“Through this we learn how to do things in the coming days in case it happens again,” Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Colonel Wilbert Ibuge said in Dar es Salaam when opening the first high level SADC senior officials’ video conference.

The Permanent Secretary noted that outbreak of the disease continues to offer chances of coming up with other advanced ways of interacting without face to face meeting.

The two days video conference meeting will among other things discuss a report on the preparation of the regional bloc’s vision 2050, development plan 2020/2030 and contributions by member countries among others. The agendas will be presented to the council of ministers which is expected to start tomorrow via the same video platform.

A week ago, SADC suspended all face-to-face meetings, adopting video conference instead, as deadly corona virus some of its member states—South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

This the first meeting to be held via video conference as strategies are being drawn up to contain the disease that has now spread all over the over the world.

SADC ministers of health met in an extra-ordinary meeting in Dar es Salaam last week to share existing knowledge and information on the Covid-19 outbreak, which has had devastating global impacts since its outbreak in December 2019, and agree on how to harmonize and coordinate the preparedness and response to Covid-19 in the SADC region.

The meeting also noted the status on the level of preparedness of the member states in addressing COVID-19, and urged member states to put in place national preparedness and response plans as well as contingency and emergency funds to address gaps in prevention, impact mitigation and other interventions.

The meeting also urged member states to institute peer review mechanisms to validate self-assessment reports on readiness, and requested international cooperating partners, through the WHO and the Africa centres for disease control and prevention (Africa CDC), to support Member states in the development and implementation of country plans, as well as in resource mobilization for health-related infrastructure development.

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