Botswana has been given the honour to host the SADC Standby Force Regional Logistics Depot.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Lemogang Kwape confirmed this, adding that Botswana allocated 19 hectares of land in Rasesa village in the Kgatleng tribal area for the project.

He said on the 21st October 2021, the Agreement for hosting the SADC Standby Force Regional Logistics Depot (RLD), was signed between the Government of Botswana and the SADC Secretariat.

“The SADC Depot supports regional peace operations. Its functions include observation, monitoring, peace support, interventions for peace and security restoration at the request of Member States and actions to prevent the spread of conflict or the resurgence of violence in the region.

“The total construction and operation of the project will require US$ 30 million. When completed, the depot will house general purpose equipment for the military, police and civilian components of the SADC standby force.

“Botswana also contributed US$570, 000 towards establishment of the Regional Logistics Depot,” the minister said.

According to Dr Kwape, as the host, Botswana will benefit immensely from this project through professional and non-professional employment opportunities, boost of small medium enterprises such as catering, purchase of local construction products, among others.

The depot, he said will also strengthen relations in the region through peace keeping activities. Dr Kwape stated that the Membership of SADC has grown over the years and now stands at 16 Member States.

These are Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, United Republic Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

He said the objectives of SADC are to achieve economic development, poverty alleviation, enhance the standard and quality of life of the peoples of Southern Africa and maintenance of regional peace and security.

These objectives, Dr Kwape said, are to be achieved through increased regional integration, built on democratic principles, equitable and sustainable development.