SADC leaders to meet in DRC for 42nd Summit

By Oleen Ndori

THE 42nd SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government set for the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC this week is expected to deliberate on key issues affecting regional trade, peace and stability.

According to Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Fredrick Shava, the summit, which will be held on August 17 and 18, is expected to provide a platform to discuss issues surrounding regional integration and industrialisation.

“The upcoming 42nd Summit will be held under the theme: “Promoting industrialization through agro-processing, mineral beneficiation, and regional value chains for inclusive and resilient economic growth,” said Ambassador Shava.

“This takes into account the current operating environment and the need to enhance the roll out of SADC’s industrialisation and market integration programmes.

“It provides impetus to the implementation of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap that will help SADC economies to diversify from over-reliance on primary commodities, such as raw minerals and agricultural products into high-value manufactured products.

“Industrialisation is a key component of the development of our countries and the region and indeed it dovetails with Zimbabwe’s own Vision 2030.”

He also highlighted the need to implement climate smart initiatives for combating the negative effects of climate change.

“Council agreed on the urgent need to scale up localised production of key agricultural inputs and foodstuffs. We further agreed to share information, technologies, experience and expertise in the implementation of programmes aimed at improving the food and nutrition security of our countries.

“The importance of implementing climate-smart agricultural projects, such as Zimbabwe’s Pfumvudza, was highlighted as a short term measure to reduce food and nutrition insecurity, while pursuing strategies that ensured long term resilience against droughts,” he said.

Discussions are also expected to look at the implementation of SADC history in educational curricula, reviewing progress in the implementation of various activities in addition to health issues with regards to HIV and AIDS as well as the Covid-19 pandemic.