Southern Africa: President Suluhu to Assume SADC Role

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan is expected to take over from President Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia as a chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation in the coming year.

This was disclosed in a Communiqué of the 43rd Ordinary Summit of Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Heads of State and Governments which convened in Luanda, Angola on Thursday, whereas President Samia was represented by Vice-President Dr Philip Mpango.

A statement issued by the Vice-President’s office indicated some of the pertinent issues which centred discussion during the summit including fostering industrial development emphasis placed on value addition of products should be carried within member countries.

The endeavour is envisioned to increase employment opportunities and a boost in revenues in the respective countries.

SADC Organ on Politics Defence and Security Cooperation is responsible for promoting peace and security in the SADC region. It is mandated to steer and provide member states with direction regarding matters that threaten peace, security and stability in the region.

The organ is coordinated at the level of summit, consisting of a chairperson, incoming chairperson and outgoing chairperson and reports to the SADC Summit Chairperson. Elections of the organ’s chair are carried out by the summit on a rational basis and the term of office is one year.

Tanzania, at the meeting, stressed the importance of food security as well as the need to restore peace in Mozambique and in the DR Congo.

According to the communique, the summit commended Former President Jakaya Kikwete who led a panel of elders for facilitating the political and security situation in the Kingdom of Lesotho, conveying appreciation for progress made and for the commitment of the government of Lesotho to finalise the comprehensive reforms process.

Convened under the theme ‘Human and financial capital: The key drivers for sustainable industrialisation of the SADC region seeks to address two of the most critical enablers in supporting regional industrialisation in the context of climate change and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Equally, the summit received an update on the security situation in the eastern DR Congo and endorsed the deployment of the SADC Mission in the DRC (SAMIDRC) to restore peace and security in that part of the country.

The summit noted the outcome of the Quadripartite Summit, reiterating the call to strengthen the coordination and harmonisation of peace initiatives in eastern DRC, by various actors including the East African Community (EAC), Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), SADC and United Nations (UN) and the African Union Commission (AUC).

They also commended Angola President João Lourenço, as AU Champion, for leading peace and reconciliation processes in the continent.

“Summit noted progress in the implementation of the theme of the 42nd SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government, regarding “Promoting industrialisation through, agro-processing, mineral beneficiation and regional value chains for inclusive and resilient economic growth”, and commended the outgoing Chairperson of SADC, President Félix Tshisekedi, for his exemplary leadership in delivering on the key areas of the theme during his tenure,” stated the Communique.

However, the summit endorsed the extension of the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) by 12 months and commended member states, SAMIM Mission leadership and personnel for their dedication and contribution in supporting the mission to achieve peace and security in the Cabo Delgado Province in northern Mozambique and the commencement of a phased drawdown of SAMIM.

They also endorsed the Regional Gas Master Plan, 2023-2038 as a gas infrastructure investment blueprint to facilitate coordinated harnessing of natural gas resources within the region and directed that progress on its implementation be reported on a biennial basis.