South Africa to host Extraordinary SADC Summit

Pretoria: South African President Thabo Mbeki will lead a senior South African government delegation to the Extraordinary SADC Summit on Regional Integration being hosted by South Africa at Gallagher Estate in Midrand, Gauteng on Monday 23 October 2006.

Foreign Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will lead the South African charge to the meeting of the Ministerial Task Force on Regional Integration preceding the Summit from 21-22 October 2006.

The theme of the Summit is Economic Integration of SADC and it is expected that all SADC Heads of State and Government will attend. Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Industry and Finance of all SADC member states will attend the Summit and meeting of the Ministerial Task Force.

The Extraordinary Summit occurs within the context of the appointment of a Task Force of Ministers responsible for Finance, Investment and Economic Development; Trade and Industry and the SADC Secretariat, to review:

· SADC's regional economic integration agenda;
· The milestones for achieving the Free Trade Area and SADC Customs Union;
· Review progress and propose measures for scaling up implementation of regional integration.

The Taskforce on Regional Economic Integration will present its report to the Summit of Heads of State and Government on Monday 23 October 2006.

The Summit will thus focus on the current status of implementation of the Free Trade Area (FTA) in terms of the main activities required to complete the FTA by 2008 as planned for in the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP). In addition, the requirements for achieving a SADC Customs Union will also be considered. as well as macro-economic convergence in the region.

The Extraordinary meeting will also provide Ministers of Foreign Affairs with a SADC mandate regarding the African Union Government, in preparation for the African Union process on the matter.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853
Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
18 October 2006

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