SADC SUMMIT BEGINS IN SWAZILAND’S CAPITAL MBABANE

The 36th SADC Heads of States and Government Summit is taking place in Mbabane, Swaziland on Aug 30 -31 under the chairmanship of the incoming chairperson of SADC, King Mswati III of Swaziland.

The theme of the summit is "Resource Mobilization for Investment in Sustainable Energy Infrastructure for an Inclusive SADC Industrialization for the Prosperity".

The summit will be held at the Grand Hall of Lozita, 32 kilometers from Mbabane.

The Angolan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Georges Chikoti, said that the heads of state will look at the issue of regional integration, economic and social situation of the region, food security and mainly on contributions from member states, which at this point covers only 60 percent.

According to a statement from the South African presidency, the theme of the Summit places focus on the need to improve both industrial and infrastructure development in enhancing integration, fostering intra-regional trade in addressing SADC's sustainable development agenda.

The SADC Summit is a statutory meeting of the 15-nation regional body which convenes annually in August and matters from different sectors are considered 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.

On the political and security situation in the region, it is expected that the focus of discussions at the Summit will be on constitutional, public and security sector reforms in the Kingdom of Lesotho, national reconciliation, implementation of the SADC Roadmap on Madagascar and the national dialogue towards preparations for national elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Sadc Energy Sector Plan tops the agenda, targeting to increase electricity generation from 56,000 megawatts to more than 96,000MW, said a statement from the Zimbabwean government.

It identifies 73 projects which regional leaders believe will spur industrialisation.

In 2015 alone, new projects fed 1 864MW into the Southern African Power Pool, with an additional 3 932MW projected this year.

South Africa will contribute 1,624MW to the 2016 target; supported by Angola (930MW), the DRC (458MW), Mozambique (360MW), Zambia (310MW) and Zimbabwe (200MW).

Summit will also consider the monetised action plan for the region's industrialisation strategy steered through by President Mugabe during his tenure as Sadc Chair (August 2014-August 2015).

Foreign ministers have already discussed the budget, and want it finalised at an extraordinary summit in February/March 2017.

The Sadc Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap (2015-2063) has three pillars - industrialisation, enhanced competitiveness and deeper regional integration.

Its strategic interventions involve refining policies, increasing public and private sector investment volumes, creating regional value chains and boosting value addition.

Sadc also plans to develop and operationalise an industry protocol by 2020, leading to member states adopting national industrialisation policies and strategies.

Further, states will be required to develop national Industrialisation Upgrading and Modernisation Programmes by 2018 and implement them by 2020.

The overarching Sadc IUMP focuses on upgrading existing manufacturing capacities, modernising productive facilities, reinforcing institutional support infrastructure and bolstering research and innovation capacity.

A committee appointed by the Sadc Double Troika in June 2016 to oversee constitutional and security sector reforms in Lesotho will also table its report to Summit.

King Mswati III of Swaziland is scheduled to take over the bloc's rotational chairmanship from Botswana President Lieutenant-General Seretse Khama Ian Khama.

SADC groups Angola, South Africa, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Seychelles.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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