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SADC Executive satisfied with preparations ahead of summit of Heads of State

Story by Oleen Ndori, Foreign Desk Editor

SOUTHERN African Development Community (SADC) Executive Secretary, Mr Elias Magosi has expressed satisfaction with progress that has been made in preparation for the Summit of Heads of State and Government set for August in Zimbabwe.

This emerged when the SADC Executive Secretary met President Emmerson Mnangagwa at State House in Harare this Wednesday.

This August, Zimbabwe will take over as chair of the regional bloc during the 44th SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government to be hosted in Harare.

SADC Executive Secretary, Mr Elias Magosi, who is in the country to assess the state of preparedness, has been impressed by the progress made so far particularly in infrastructural development.

“You will be aware that President Mnangagwa will be assuming the chair of our region, of SADC. And there are preparatory works that have been done leading up to the summit itself.

‘The committee that is led by the Vice President Chiwenga is working around the clock with the ministers and the senior officials to make sure that the summit is actually successful. So that committee is working with the Secretary, ourselves, and my team to make sure that the summit is successful. So, His Excellency was also indicating that progress has been done in this regard. So it is pleasing that we are not far off from the actual month, but there is good progress that has been made already.”

Deliberations also touched on the construction of the Museum of African Liberation, which will be presented to regional leaders by President Mnangagwa in August.

“The second thing was to talk about the Liberation Museum. He has talked about the Liberation Museum, which we have the opportunity to go and see where it is at. In August, there will be a side event from the summit where he will be presenting the museum to the other heads of state, SADC heads of state and government, but also to present to them the SADC square, Liberation Square, where they can also put their own liberation history as member states. So this is indeed a good realization that we have a history for us to be liberated as member states, as a region. And therefore, this is a historical development for us that we must do,” said Mr Magosi.

During the recent SADC Extraordinary Summit, regional leaders launched a US$5.5 billion appeal following the hard-hitting drought experienced by member states, leaving millions in need of food aid.

The SADC secretariat is now looking at ways of pooling resources from partners towards the appeal.

“The appeal was launched, as you saw, in the last two days at the extraordinary summit. We are now going to be working with our partners, looking for resources, those amounts. We have to talk to our partners and all others that can support us to make sure that we get that.

“We are also going to talk to those that have got surpluses, both in the region and outside of the region, with food surpluses, with cereal, and so forth, so that we can supply those that are in need, those that are in deficit. We’ve also said, if you look at the appeal itself, that perhaps it’s about time, as a region. We should also plan better.

“We now know that there is something called climate change. We now know that in times of this, every year around this time, we are going to have heavy rains, we are going to have drought. We know the El Nino cycle, we know the La Nina cycle, so we are now better informed,” said Mr Magosi.

The August SADC summit is expected to deliberate on issues of regional industrialisation drive, response to insurgencies in some parts of the region along with issues of building people to people interactions.

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