SADC summit wraps up

2014-08-18 22:52
President Robert Mugabe.  (Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, AP)

President Robert Mugabe. (Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Harare - Southern African leaders ended a two-day summit on Monday resolving to develop their industries to boost regional co-operation and set up a fund for its projects.

In a statement at the end of the two-day meeting in Zimbabwe's prime tourist resort town of Victoria Falls, the heads of state from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) said "industrialisation should take centre stage on SADC's regional integration agenda".

The bloc tasked a ministerial panel "to develop a strategy and roadmap for industrialisation in the region".

"We have examined how we can make benefaction and value addition an integral part of our regional strategic and development plan," said Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

The 90-year-old Mugabe has taken over as rotating chair of the 15-nation regional grouping.

He said significant progress had been made on plans for a regional development fund.

"Such a mechanism will enable us to fund and own our programmes and reduce... dependence on our international cooperating partners," Mugabe said.

"It is a mechanism which many regional economies communities have effectively utilised and SADC can be no exception."

Mugabe had earlier urged member states to export finished products instead of raw materials if they are to reap maximum benefits for their economies.

The summit also urged member states to be vigilant to prevent the outbreak of the Ebola virus which has wreaked havoc in West Africa, and contain it in the event of an outbreak.

Ebola, which has no known cure, has killed at least 1 145 people in west Africa since the start of the year.

Police beat activists

Meantime as the regional leaders wrapped up their meeting, more than 700km away in Harare, police beat and arrested opposition activists and a journalist during a rally demanding that Mugabe deliver on his pre-election promise to create two million jobs.

Anti-riot police used batons to break up the demonstration by youths from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The photojournalist from the privately-owned Zimbabwe Mail, Angela Jimu, was later freed without charge.

Rights groups last week urged the southern African countries at the SADC meeting to address abuses and uphold individual freedoms in their countries.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights deplored "serious human rights concerns" in Angola, Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

They accused Harare of dragging its feet in prosecuting perpetrators of political violence, and denounced secrecy around mining rights and the country's lucrative diamond fields.

Mugabe, in his maiden speech as chair of the meeting, said the SADC prided itself on having an impressive track record on matters of peace, security and democracy.

Read more on:    sadc  |  mdc  |  zimbabwe

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.