DAR ES SALAAM, (The Southern African Times) – The Southern African Development Community (SADC) on Monday launched its regional counterterrorism center in Tanzania’s commercial capital of Dar es Salaam.
The center aims to strengthen partnerships and commitment by the 16 SADC member states in dealing with security challenges, especially the threat of terrorism and violent extremism in the SADC region.
Elias Magosi, the SADC executive secretary, said the center’s responsibilities included advising SADC on counterterrorism and prevention of violent extremism policies, programs and deployments within the SADC region.
The center will also be tasked with research, assessment, analysis and timely dissemination of information to national counterterrorism and prevention of violent extremism agencies and other relevant stakeholders, including the African Union and international partners.
“This is the most important of all because failure to disseminate information timely could have unintended catastrophic results for the SADC member states and the region,” said Magosi.
Machana Ronald Shamukuni, the Botswanan minister for Employment, Labor Productivity and Skills Development, said the center, the first of its kind in Africa, will serve as a coordinating hub to advance the regional counterterrorism capacity-building efforts.
“It will also advise SADC member states on effective counterterrorism policies and programs on the prevention of violent extremism and radicalization,” said Shamukuni.
The SADC was established in 1992 to address regional integration and poverty eradication within southern Africa through economic development and ensuring peace and security.