Angola Press Agency Luanda Harare
Displayed with permission from allAfrica.com

The Republic of Angola last Sunday in Harare, Zimbabwe, was elected chair of the Southern Africa Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC-FP), for the 2016-2018 biennial term.

The election of the Angolan Parliament – which took over from Tanzania – happened during the 40th Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF), which was attended by representatives of 13 out of the 14 member states.

This is the first time that Angola will hold this regional post.

Besides Angola, which received unanimous votes, the delegates also elected Zimbabwe to occupy the vice chair of SADC-PF.

Speaking to press, after the voting, the Speaker of the Angolan National Assembly (Parliament), Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos, stated that the election honours and brings joy to all Angolans.

According to the source, a hard work has been done for the country to achieve this result.

« It was not an easy work. (… ) but through a behind the scenes work and consultations we managed to achieve our goals », he explained.

Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos then assured that Angola was able to pass its message properly.

He pointed out as priority of his term the inclusion of Portuguese and French as work languages of the SADC-PF.

« SADC is mostly made up of countries that speak the English language, but there are Portuguese-speaking countries and also one that speaks French, the Democratic Republic of the Congo », he explained.

He said it is necessary to work so that these languages can get the same dignity as English so that the works of the institution can be done more smoothly.

He revealed that there are other administrative issues that will need to take into account as well, during his term.

The 40th Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF) officially launched the SADC Model Law on Eradicating Child Marriage and Protecting those Already in Marriage, paving the way for the domestication of this groundbreaking law by SADC Member States.

The SADC-PF, which was created in 1997, is comprised of Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, The Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Madagascar (currently suspended), Mauritania, Malawi, Lesotho, DR Congo and Botswana.