18 August 2017

Southern Africa: SADC Double Troika Meets in Tshwane

The Extraordinary Summit of the SADC Double Troika, which commences in Tshwane on Friday afternoon, is expected to consider the political and security situation in the region, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said.

Countries like the DRC and Lesotho have been plagued by drawn-out political instability in recent years threatening peace and security of the region.

Although Lesotho has somewhat stabilised after the recent elections, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to continue to monitor that country as the SADC Facilitator. Since its independence in 1960, the DRC has not known peace, and its problems are an ongoing headache for both SADC and the African Union. The Double Troika is made up of Tanzania, Angola, Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana and South Africa.

Friday's summit is also expected to consider the Concept Paper on the SADC Peace Fund and applications by the Union of Comoros and the Republic of Burundi for membership of SADC.

The official SADC Heads of State Summit will commence on Saturday, however so far, several meetings have taken place at the Department of International Relations relating to the summit. These include the Council of Ministers meeting, the Standing Committee of Senior Official meeting and the Finance Committee.

SADC is celebrating 25 years of existence this year and South Africa takes over the chairpersonship from Swaziland. The predecessor of the SADC, the Southern African Development Co-ordination Community (SADCC) was established in 1980 in and in 1992, regional heads of State agreed to transform the SADCC into the SADC with a special focus on regional integration.

In celebration of the birth of SADC in 1992, the current chairperson, King Mswati III of Swaziland on Wednesday delivered the SADC Day message for 2017. SADC Day is commemorated on 17th August every year.

In his message, King Mswati III expressed optimism of the SADC Regional Integration agenda and development of the region.

"I am encouraged by the growing awareness and participation of our people in the implementation of the SADC Programmes and Projects. I do hope this will gradually move the region towards achieving the goals for which SADC was established which is to reduce the levels of poverty and improve the standard of living of the people in the Region," said King Mswati III.

He said the need and importance of industrialising the SADC region cannot be over-emphasised adding that this calls for fast action in ensuring that SADC macroeconomic policy environment is improved. There is also a need to remove infrastructural impediments to industrialisation and identifying key value chains for the global markets," said King Mswai III

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