Zuma to lead delegation for SADC summit

2012-08-15 11:00

President Jacob Zuma will lead a South African delegation to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) 15-nation summit to be held in Mozambique later this week.

The international relations department said yesterday that preparatory meetings, including a meeting by the SADC council of ministers, would precede the opening.

At the summit, attended by the heads of state, chairpersonship is customarily handed to the host country.

This meant the post would be handed from Angola to Mozambique.

Other business would be the handing over of the chairpersonship of the organ on politics, defence and security, from South Africa to Tanzania.

This would be Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s first SADC summit since her election as African Union commission chairperson.

SADC is made up of almost 260 million people in Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Madagascar was suspended in 2009 after Andry Rajoelina ousted president Marc Ravalomanana in a coup.

Zuma met the two leaders in Seychelles last month in his role as head of the SADC security organ, as part of efforts to facilitate an agreement between them ahead of Madagascar’s May 8 2013 elections.

SADC reportedly gave them until tomorrow to settle their differences.

The international relations department said the summit would also examine the performance of SADC institutions and review the overall implementation of SADC socioeconomic programmes.

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said SADC continued to serve as the primary vehicle for South African foreign policy efforts to achieve regional development and integration.

“South Africa’s future remains inextricably linked to the future of the African continent and that of its neighbours in Southern Africa,” she said in the statement.

“SADC strives for balanced and equitable regional integration as a fundamental condition for sustainable development in the region, and, most importantly, to free the people of the region from the scourges of unemployment, poverty and underdevelopment.”


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