Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Thabo Mbeki to chair SADC Government summit

By Mishkah Anthony
12 August 2008


Foreign Affairs has announced that President Thabo Mbeki will assume the chair of the Southern African Development Community this weekend as South Africa hosts the ordinary SADC heads of state and Government summit in Santon Johannesburg.

The summit will be held on Saturday 16 to Sunday 17 August 2008. The summit is aimed at strengthening and consolidating sustainable regional, political and economic integration.

Spokesperson in the Presidency Ronnie Mamoepa says the summit will first be preceded by a SADC Council of Ministers meeting on Thursday14 to Friday 15 August 2008.
South African Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosizana Dlamini-Zuma will lead the delegation and chair the meeting.

Among other issues this summit will focus on political development within the SADC region, regional economic integration and its challenges, and challenges around food security. The summit will also discuss the financing and construction of the new SADC headquarters.

Meanwhile, as part of SADC’s efforts to deepen long term regional economic integration, the SADC heads of state and Government summit will on Sunday launch the Free Trade Area of the SADC Community. The theme of the SADC initiative will be Free Trade Area for growth, development and wealth creation.

This would formalise the elimination of trade tariffs amongst SADC member states, enhance economic integration and create bigger regional markets.

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