swazilandonlinenews.com 2017-03-16 00:00:00

PRETORIA, South African President Jacob Zuma will make a working visit to Swaziland Friday to attend the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government, the Presidency says.

The Summit, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, is expected to discuss the report of the Ministerial Task Force on Regional Economic Integration: Industrialisation and Regional Economic Integration set up by the 15-nation sub-regional grouping.

"The Summit will further discuss, amongst other things, food security following the army worm outbreak currently affecting crop production and food security in the region. The regional bloc leaders will also discuss the request from the Union of Comoros and the Republic of Burundi to join the SADC," said the Presidency Wednesday.

President Zuma will participate in the SADC Double Troika Summit which is being convened to receive and discuss a progress report on the implementation of SADC decisions in relation to the political situation in Lesotho, the landlocked Mountain Kingdom. The double troika will also receive and discuss an update on the political and security situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

In his capacity as the SADC facilitator for Lesotho, South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will present a report to the summit on the situation in Lesotho whose Parliament has recently been dissolved and preparations are being made to hold fresh elections.

The extra-ordinary summit will be preceded by a meeting of the the SADC Council of Ministers and the SADC Ministerial Retreat under the theme: "The SADC We Want". The Retreat will focus on three thematic areas -- SADC Vision Progress, Challenges and Prospects, SADC's Institutional Capacity to deliver on its mandate and Resource Mobilisation.

President Zuma will be accompanied by International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane; Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.