Zimbabwe to Host Historic Sadc Summit in August

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by Motoni Olodun

Zimbabwe is gearing up to host the 44th Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Summit in August, which will mark the country’s first time to chair the regional bloc since its inception in 1980.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who will assume the rotating presidency of Sadc at the summit, said he is confident that the meeting will be a record of excellence and showcase Zimbabwe’s leadership and diplomacy.

“I believe it will be a record of excellence and we are hosting it because of our people like you (the media person), I believe in you,” Mnangagwa said on Tuesday, after meeting with the executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Claver Gatete, and other officials.

Mnangagwa said he expects the summit to address the key issues affecting the region, such as peace and security, industrialisation, trade and integration, as well as the Impact of climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic.

He also said he hopes the summit will strengthen the solidarity and co-operation among the 16-member states of Sadc, which have a combined population of over 350 million and a gross domestic product of over $700 billion.

Zimbabwe’s path to the Sadc chairmanship has been a beacon of leadership and diplomacy, as the country has played an active role in promoting regional co-operation and development, as well as resolving conflicts and crises.

Zimbabwe has been instrumental in supporting the peace and stability efforts in Mozambique, which is facing a violent insurgency by Islamist militants in its northern province of Cabo Delgado.

Zimbabwe has also been involved in the mediation and dialogue processes in Lesotho, Malawi and Eswatini, which have experienced political and social unrest in recent years.

Zimbabwe has also been a champion of regional industrialization and value addition, which are key to enhancing the competitiveness and diversification of the Sadc economies, as well as creating jobs and reducing poverty.

Zimbabwe has also been a leader in advancing the regional integration agenda, which aims to create a common market and a monetary union among the Sadc countries, as well as to harmonize their policies and standards.

Zimbabwe has also been a pioneer in implementing the Sadc digital strategy, which seeks to leverage the opportunities of the fourth industrial revolution and the digital economy, as well as to bridge the digital divide in the region.

Zimbabwe’s hosting of the Sadc summit comes at a time when the country is implementing its National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), which is a five-year plan to achieve an upper middle-income status by 2030.

The NDS1 is aligned with the Sadc Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) and the African Union Agenda 2063, which are the blueprints for the regional and continental development and integration.

Zimbabwe is also pursuing the re-engagement and engagement policy, which aims to restore and enhance its relations with the international community, as well as to attract foreign investment and support.

Zimbabwe is confident that its hosting of the Sadc summit will not only boost its image and reputation, but also foster greater unity and collaboration among the Sadc member states and beyond.


Source: The Herald

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