The meeting of the Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), held in Swaziland recently ended on a high note.
The 36th Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government was held under the theme: “Resource Mobilisation for Investment in Sustainable Energy Infrastructure for an Inclusive SADC Industrialization and for the Prosperity of the Region”.
The SADC Summit is a statutory meeting of the 15-nation regional body which meets annually in August. The Summit considers matters from different sectors for decision and noting. The Summit also examines the performance of SADC institutions and reviews the overall implementation of the regional body's socio-economic programmes.
President Zuma said summit was a success following positive discussions and decisions and said the outcomes of the summit showed the commitment by member states to ensure integrated development in the region.
“The summit was a success as we dealt with a number of important issues that affect the region most in particular issues around industrialisation, energy and infrastructure development.
“As leaders we have further reiterated that the time to implement Harare decisions on industrialisation and creating vibrant economies has come to ensure that we develop our economy, create jobs and fight poverty in our region.
“The fact that we want to industrialise our region and create integrated economy, we have all agreed that projects that should be prioritised at a regional level for the immediate term should be those that will promote regional integration and unlock regional growth.
The Summit noted and welcomed a report presented by the SADC Secretariat, to identify priority infrastructure and energy projects to be implemented as part of the Revised SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Plan to bring about regional economic integration and eradicate poverty.
President Zuma further said the summit also received progress reports on various political and security matters including, in particular, issues relating to the Kingdom of Lesotho and Democratic Republic of Congo.
“We have all committed ourselves to swiftly implement the recommendations as presented in the reports to ensure peace, unity and stability in affected areas,” the President said.
SADC Executive Secretary Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax mentioned among others that a five-year Plan Investment Plan for implementation of the SADC Regional Agricultural Policy (RAP) 2014 which seeks to ensure long term food security and reduction of social and economic vulnerability was finalised. In the area of Infrastructure, she reported that the roll out of regional projects by SADC Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan (RIDMP” is on course.
The summit also elected South Africa elected as the Incoming Chairperson of SADC.
“We are extremely honoured to have been elected as the incoming Chairperson of SADC. This is a responsibility we take very seriously.
“We equally wish to affirm our total commitment to carry out this huge responsibility to the best of our ability,” President Jacob Zuma said in his acceptance speech.
South Africa will host the 37th Ordinary SADC Summit scheduled for August 2017.