President Jacob G. Zuma attends the SADC Summit for Heads of State and Government on 16 and 17 August 2010

President of the Republic of South Africa, H.E. Jacob G. Zuma, arrived this morning in Windhoek, the capital of the Republic of Namibia, to attend the SADC Summit for Heads of State and Government, scheduled to take place tomorrow, 16 August 2010, and Tuesday, 17 August. The Summit coincides with the 30th anniversary celebrations, that started on 1 April 2010 of the Southern African Development Community. These celebrations will continue until the last day of the Summit on 17 August.

The SADC Heads of State and Government follows the SADC’s Council of Ministers which started yesterday, 14 August 2010, and will end today, 15 August 2010. The latter followed the Standing Committee of Senior Officials which also lasted two days from 11 to 13 August 2010.

The SADC Region is generally peaceful and stable and SADC remains seized with political developments in the region with significant progress being made towards addressing the political and socio-economic challenges facing some of the Member States such as Zimbabwe and Madagascar. Despite global economic meltdown, SADC’s regional economy grew by 2.1% in 2008/9 whereas the global economy contracted by 0.6% and developed economies by 3.2% during the time under review. SADC, like its South-South cooperation partners, developing Asia including China, grew by 6.6%.

President Zuma will tomorrow present his report, as a facilitator, on political developments in Zimbabwe with regards to the implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA). Economically, progress has already been noted in Zimbabwe with the positive development trends arising from the economic rehabilitation programmes. The inclusive Government in Zimbabwe is making some progress on the implementation of the Global Political Agreement under the mediation of South Africa, with most outstanding issues such as the appointment of Governors and Attorney-General forming part of the discussions that are ongoing – and it is hoped that there will be further positive results by the end of this year. Noting these developments, SADC Council of Ministers yesterday went further to call for the lifting of sanctions against the country.

In addition to reviewing the implementation of its decisions over the period under review, the Summit will also receive reports on pertinent regional integration issues. Summit will also deliberate on the current political and socio-economic situation in the region with emphasis on the implications of the global economic crisis, the status of agriculture and food security, HIV and AIDS and Gender.

The regional food security situation for the 2009/2010 marketing year was better than the previous year as a result of good rains and improved production mechanisms. SADC registered an overall cereal surplus of 162, 000 tonnes compared to a deficit of 1,78 million tonnes in the 2008/2009 marketing year. However, the surplus was wholly from maize supply, with other main cereals of wheat, rice, sorghum and millet in deficit.

The food security situation in the 2009/2010 marketing year indicates that only Malawi, South Africa and Zambia had overall cereal surpluses of 1.39 million tonnes, 3.01 million tonnes and 306, 000 tonnes respectively. In terms of maize, which usually makes up more than 80% of total cereal production, the region had increased surplus of 4.11 million tonnes in 2009/10 compared to a surplus of only 1.69 million tonnes in 2008/09. Maize surpluses were available in Malawi (1.41 million tonnes), Mozambique (123,000 tonnes), South Africa (4.29 million tonnes) and Zambia (263,000 tonnes) with the rest of the Member States indicating deficits.

The SADC Protocol on Gender was adopted by Summit in 2008 and signed by all Member States except Botswana and Mauritius. Consultations in Member States on the ratification of the Protocol are at an advanced stage with Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe having completed the ratification processes but are yet to deposit their ratification instruments with the Secretariat.

The 2009 elections saw most Member States regressing significantly in women representation in Parliament and Cabinet positions largely as a result of the electoral systems being used such as proportional representation, and legislated quotas.

With respect to the judiciary, Botswana and Malawi are the only Member States that have women Attorneys-General. Zambia has a woman Deputy Chief Justice while Lesotho and Malawi have women Registrars of the High Court. Tanzania has a commendable 55.6% women representation at the Court of Appeal and 56% at the High Court. Botswana attained 43% representation of women Judges at the Industrial Court.

In carrying out the implementation of the Declaration on Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development adopted in April 2008 in Mauritius, the Secretariat has carried out surveys of Poverty Observatories. The surveys were carried out within the region, across Africa and internationally comprising of study visits to six Member States and a number of consultative meetings and workshops with governments and non-state actors. It culminated in a report which outlines the proposal for the establishment of the SADC Regional Poverty Observatory.

The SADC Region has recorded positive results especially in the implementation of Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ARV) and Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) programmes. In this regard, eight Member States recorded coverage rates in the provision of Anti-Retroviral Treatment of at least 50 percent whilst PMTCT programmes have rapidly expanded with five Member States recording coverage rates of 70% and above.

Summit will receive a Status Report on progress made with regard to infrastructure which is a key enabler of socio-economic development and deeper regional economic integration. Whilst the implementation of infrastructure has confronted some challenges, a number of notable achievements have been made in various sectors. This year’s Report articulates the progress made by each of the individual Member States with the implementation of infrastructure as well as its strategy going forward. It carries a Special Feature on Namibia as the 2010 host country for the Summit and provides synergies between the national and regional frameworks.

For further information please contact Chief Director for Public Diplomacy, Saul Kgomotso Molobi on +27 82 940 1647, +27 12 351 0083 or email him on molobisk@dirco.gov.za. Alternatively, call President Zuma’s Special Advisor on Communications, Mr Zizi Kodwa, on +27 82 330 4910.

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road
Rietondale
PRETORIA
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15 August 2010

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