Sadc heads of state deliberate on socioeconomic programmes

Amanda Khoza Presidency reporter
President Cyril Ramaphosa with Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa at a previous Sadc summit in Maputo, Mozambique. File photo.
President Cyril Ramaphosa with Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa at a previous Sadc summit in Maputo, Mozambique. File photo.
Image: GCIS

The Southern African Development Community (Sadc) has concluded its two-day 41st Ordinary Summit of heads of state and government in Lilongwe, Malawi, where leaders deliberated on issues affecting the bloc.

During the summit President Cyril Ramaphosa was elected as chairperson of the organ on politics, defence and security co-operation.

The African heads of state gathered on Tuesday and Wednesday to deliberate on developments relating to the Sadc's priority and overall implementation of the community's socioeconomic programmes

In a statement released on Wednesday morning, the summit congratulated newly elected Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema for winning the elections.

It also endorsed an action plan for the implementation of the security threats report and urged member states to implement interventions contained in the plan.

“The summit received a progress report from the Sadc facilitator to the Kingdom of Lesotho, Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, on the implementation of Sadc decisions in the Kingdom of Lesotho, and commended the Kingdom of Lesotho for progress made in implementing Sadc decisions and ongoing reforms.”  

The heads of state urged Lesotho to expedite the completion of ongoing reforms, and to continue with the peace, transitional justice and reconciliation process to engender national unity and bring about national healing and cohesion.

“The summit commended President Ramaphosa for his dedication and continued facilitation, and extended his mandate as the Sadc facilitator until the 42nd summit of heads of state and government.”

It also received an update on the security situation in Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique, and commended Sadc member states for pledging personnel and providing financial support towards the deployment of a Sadc standby force to Mozambique.

In March Mozambique was besieged by insurgents allegedly linked to the Islamic State who overran the gas field town of Palma, killing dozens of people and displacing many.

In June, during an extraordinary summit in Maputo, Sadc heads of state approved the deployment of standby forces to deal with terrorism in Mozambique. SA responded by deploying 1,495 troops for three months, ending on October 15, at a cost of R984m.

The summit commended Tanzania for offering to host the regional counterterrorism centre which will offer dedicated and strategic advisory services to the region on terrorism threats.

“The summit reaffirmed the Sadc’s position for the creation of the Sadc Central Bank and Monetary Union as a long-term objective to be premised on fulfilling preconditions that include harmonisation of the fiscal and monetary policies of Sadc countries, and greater convergence of banking systems. In this regard, the African Monetary Institute and the African Central Bank should be long-term objectives.”

Leaders expressed their concerns and objected to the unilateral decision taken by the African Union (AU) Commission to grant the state of Israel observer status to the AU.

It endorsed the bolstering of productive capacities in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.  

“The summit approved the transformation of the Sadc parliamentary forum into a Sadc parliament as a consultative and a deliberative body. The summit approved the protocol on statistics and an agreement amending the Sadc protocol on energy.”

It reiterated its call for the unconditional removal of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe and supported Zimbabwe in ongoing socioeconomic strengthening efforts.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo will be host country for the summit in August 2022.

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