Pretoria — President Jacob Zuma on Friday concluded a successful working visit to Angola, where the SADC Extraordinary Summit discussed continental matters including political stability and economic integration.
Zuma led a South African delegation to Luanda, where the summit took place on Friday.
Among some of the matters discussed, said the Department of International Relations and Co-operation, were preparations for the African Union Summit that is to be hosted by Malawi in July. Political developments and regional economic integration were also discussed.
On the implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) in Zimbabwe, the Extraordinary Summit emphasised the centrality of the GPA to the resolution of the political situation in that country.
"The implementation of the various aspects of the GPA is key towards the holding of elections in Zimbabwe," said Zuma, who is the SADC Facilitator.
"The Extraordinary Summit noted progress on some aspects of the GPA and recognised that all the parties agree that the GPA provides a way forward. The Extraordinary Summit urged the parties to implement all the outstanding issues so that a conducive environment is created for elections to take place," he added.
On the issue of economic integration, the summit noted a concept paper on fast-tracking regional economic integration.
Recognising existing efforts at integrating economies in the region for enhanced growth and greater investment opportunities, the summit referred the report to ministers for inputs before it is presented to the next summit for decision. The ministers were tasked with proposing specific projects and timelines for consideration by Heads of State and Government.
The SADC leadership reiterated their view that there was a need to strengthen the AU in order to better position the continental body for the multitude of opportunities and challenges facing Africa.
In a communique issued at the end of the summit, leaders noted the importance of the Madagascar Roadmap, which seeks to return that country to constitutional normalcy.
"The summit mandated the SADC Mediator and the Troika of the Organ to facilitate dialogue and convene a meeting between Andry Rajoelina, President of the High Transition Authority and Marc Ravalomanana, the former President, as a matter of urgency in order to ensure the full implementation of the Roadmap and create an enabling environment for holding credible, free and fair elections," read the communique.
It also noted the "positive political and security situation in the DRC and encouraged the government of the DRC to continue consolidating peace and democracy".
On Malawi, the summit commended the people of that country for adhering to the country's constitutional provisions regarding succession following the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika on 5 April 2012.
"The summit congratulated Joyce Mtila-Banda for ascending to the position of President of Malawi," said the communique.