South Africa is set to play an increasingly important role in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Not only was President Jacob Zuma, pictured, this week elected the incoming chairperson of SADC, South Africa will also host the 37th Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government in August next year.
The 36th Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government – under the theme “resource mobilisation for investment in sustainable energy infrastructure for an inclusive SADC industrialisation and for the prosperity of the region” – was hosted in Swaziland earlier this week.
“We are extremely honoured to have been elected as the incoming chairperson of SADC. This is a responsibility we take very seriously,” said Zuma in his speech.
He said South Africa was committed to working with SADC and fellow member states to implement the projects, which had the ultimate aim of bringing about regional economic integration and eradicating poverty.
The Presidency said Zuma had characterised the summit as a success, following positive discussions and decisions. Zuma said the outcomes of the summit were “a true reflection of the commitment by member states to ensure integrated development in the region”.
“We dealt with a number of important issues that affect the region, in particular issues around industrialisation, energy and infrastructure development,” he said.
“As leaders, we have further reiterated that the time to implement Harare decisions on industrialisation and creating vibrant economy has come. This will ensure that we develop our economy, create jobs and fight poverty in our region.”
He added that projects that industrialised the region and created an integrated regional economy should be prioritised at regional level.
Zuma said the summit received progress reports on various political and security matters, including issues relating to Lesotho and Democratic Republic of Congo.
“We have all committed ourselves to swiftly implement the recommendations as presented in the reports to ensure peace, unity and stability in affected areas.”
– Citizen reporter