THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government kicked off in Mbabane, Swaziland yesterday, with the SADC Chairman, King Mswati III of Swaziland calling for oneness and unity in the implementation of human development projects by member states.
At the meeting, Vice- President Samia Suluhu Hassan represented President John Magufuli.
The Tanzanian delegation in Mbabane also includes the Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Dr Augustine Mahiga, Minister for Trade, Industries and Investment, Charles Mwijage, Zanzibar Minister of Trade, Industries and Marketing, Ambassador Amina Salum Ali and the Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Home Affairs and East African Cooperation, Ambassador Aziz Mlima.
The heads of state were expected to discuss various issues pertaining to the strengthening of the Community especially in education, infrastructure, market for goods, defence and security as well as involving the private sector in all implementation levels of development within the Community.
The summit was also scheduled to discuss the Report of the Ministerial Task Force on Regional Economic Integration: Industrialisation and Regional Economic Integration. In his opening remarks King Mswati underscored the need for SADC member states to put strategies in place that would bring development to people in the region.
"If we join hands as member states in the implementation of various development projects, I am sure unemployment and poverty will go down in our countries, he added.
The SADC Chairman insisted that for the Community's member states to strengthen economic activities, it was important to have a strategic plan to develop and put up more industries because the member states were rich in natural resources including minerals, livestock and tourism.
The summit was preceded by a meeting of experts from member states and Council of Ministers.