Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Public Works Francis Chinsinga made the appeal when he officially opened the meeting which is scheduled to end on November 3.
Chinsinga appealed to the delegates to put regional interests first and ensure that regional goals prevail.
He said the key areas that the protocol on transport, communication and meteorology aims to achieve is for the SADC region to have compatible policies, legislation, rules, standards and procedures which cannot be achieved if member countries work in isolation and try to protect their interest.
“Let us work towards reducing impediments that are derailing our efforts in achieving regional goals. I am quite aware that sustainable regional socio-economic growth can only be achieved when the region becomes more competitive,” said Chinsinga.
Stressing on the importance of meteorological services Chinsinga observed that over the past years, the region has seen its efforts in a number of areas being derailed due to issues of climate change thereby jeopardizing the socio-economic security of the region’s population.
He said: “We can therefore no longer treat meteorological issues as an after-thought in our programming. I therefore would like us to consider meteorological and its associated infrastructure to be a priority for SADC. I am confident that our strong partnership will enable us to seize the exciting opportunities ahead of us in the region.”
The SADC senior officials meeting which Malawi is hosting is mandated under article 13.5 of the protocol on transport, communication and meteorology to review the existing policies, to recommend a regional policy agenda to develop strategies as well as monitor the progress during implementation.
According to chairperson of the meeting Manare Mamabole delegates to the meeting have been grouped into sub-sectoral committees in order to develop procedures and assign duties as well as put in place systems for monitoring progress and addressing non-compliance regulations.
She said the sub-sectoral committee meetings will recommend their outcomes and report the challenges encountered during implementation to the committee of ministers which will convene on Friday for guidance.
Republic of South Africa is the current chair of SADC.