Ambassador Usha Dwarka-Canabady – Mauritius Secretary of Foreign Affairs
This week we talk to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs for Mauritius, who doubles as the SADC National Contact Point, Ms Usha Dwarka-Canabady. We discuss a few highlights from the 37th SADC Summit, themed, “Partnering with the Private Sector in Developing Industry and Regional Value Chains”. The central focal point was on the eradication of poverty by greater collaboration between government, the private sector and civil society. Governments need to emphasise empowerment, particularly of women, to help alleviate poverty, but at the same time still preserve the dignity of impoverished individuals. We reflect on trade opportunities and barriers in the SADC region, and the benefits of working with partners to commercialise offerings. We note an increasing feminisation of government services across the world; however recognise that women do not invest sufficient time into developing their professional networks. We discuss the value of formal education to advance women, and its role as a tool to change outmoded mentalities that perpetuate negative stereotypes.