Southern Africa: SADC Ministers Meet

13 August 2020

The Council of Ministers of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) will virtually hold a meeting today in preparation for the 40th Ordinary Sadc Summit of Heads State and Government which will be held on 17th August, 2020.

President Mnangagwa is expected to join other leaders for the summit, which will be held virtually owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to a draft schedule, the Sadc Council of Ministers, which groups Foreign Ministers, will hold their meeting today which will officially adopt the agenda before it is tabled before the full summit on Monday.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Dr Sibusiso Moyo is expected to represent Zimbabwe during today's meeting.

Some of the issues up for discussion include the political situation in the DRC where Sadc has expressed concern over the continued violence in some parts of the country such as North and South Kivu and the eastern parts.

Last week, President Mnangagwa convened the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation as chair of the Organ where he led the regional bloc in coming up with a peace deal expected to bring stability to the DRC.

The President chaired a virtual Troika Summit that included the Force Intervention Brigade Troops contributing countries (FIB-TCC) and the DRC.

The meeting was attended by six Sadc Heads of State and Government.

Incoming chairperson of the 16-member regional bloc, Mozambique, will chair the summit.

During the meeting, the Mozambique's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Verónica Nataniel Macamo Dhlovo will take over the chairpersonship of the SADC Council of Ministers from the Outgoing, Tanzanian Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Prof Palamagamba John Kabudi.

The ministers are expected to review implementation of the 39th Sadc Summit theme; "A Conducive Environment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, Increased Intra-Regional Trade and Job Creation" and recommend for summit approval the theme of the 40th Summit of Heads of State and Government, "40 Years Building Peace and Security, and Promoting Development and Resilience in the Face of Global Challenges".

The 40th Sadc Summit theme takes forward the implementation of the Sadc Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap by recognising the primacy of peace security and governance as a foundation which ensures the preconditions needed to achieve regional integration.

According to the Sadc report, the Ministers are to discuss the Sadc Post-2020 Agenda, which includes the formulation of Sadc Vision 2050 and the revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020-2030.

Once approved by the 40th Sadc Summit, the two strategic documents would lay the foundation and set a strategic direction for the region to implement its programmes and activities.

During the ministers meeting, the Sadc Executive Secretary Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax is expected to present a report highlighting, among others, regional political and economic developments; implementation of programmes of regional cooperation and integration; peace and security cooperation and implementation of corporate activities since the last Summit in August 2019.

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi will assume the Sadc chairmanship position on 17th August 2020 during the Opening Session of the Sadc Summit of Heads of State and Government, taking over from Tanzanian President Dr John Pombe Magufuli, who has served in that capacity from August, 2019.

This year's Sadc Summit of Heads of State and Government is being held when SADC is commemorating its 40th Anniversary since its establishment as the Southern African Development Conference (SADCC) on 1 April 1980 before it was later, in August 1992, transformed into the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) through the signing of the Declaration and Treaty.

The theme of the 2020 Sadc Summit is; "SADC: 40 Years Building Peace and Security, and Promoting Development and Resilience in the Face of Global Challenges".

According to Article 11 of the SADC Treaty, the Council of Ministers is responsible for, among others, overseeing the functioning and development of Sadc, approving policies, strategies and programmes of SADC as well as advising the Summit of Heads of State and Government on matters of overall policy. The Council consists of Ministers from each of the 16 Member States; usually from the Ministries responsible for Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Economic Planning or Finance.

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