Issue 07 | 20 August 2017  
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The closing ceremony of the 37th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was held at the OR Tambo Building of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation in Pretoria today.

Watch the Official Opening Ceremony here:
The Closing Ceremony saw the swearing in of the SADC Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, and the Deputy Executive Secretary for Regional Integration, Dr Thembinkosi Mhlongo, for a second term.

Several legal instruments were signed by the Heads of State and Government, including the Protocol for Protection of New Varieties of Plants in the Southern African Development Community, an Agreement amending the Protocol on Extradition, and an Agreement amending the Protocol on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters.

As Chairperson of the Summit, South African President Jacob Zuma said the Summit theme of Partnering with the Private Sector in developing Industry and Regional Value Chains was carefully developed to build on the themes of the Republics of Zimbabwe and Botswana and the Kingdom of Swaziland.

President Zuma announced that the Summit saw an increase in membership of the Communitywith the admission of the Union of the Comoros, thus bringing the total membership of the SADC family to 16.

He bid farewell to President Eduardo Dos Santos of Angola who was retiring and also to President Seretse Khama Ian Khama of Botswana, who was leaving office on April 2018. During the Summit, the Heads of State reviewed the political and security situation in the region.

"We noted with appreciation the relative political and security tranquility in the region with notable challenges in the Kingdom of Lesotho and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

"On Lesotho, we have welcomed the commitment of the new Government to implement SADC decisions. In this regard, we have urged them to submit a clear time-bound roadmap on the implementation of all SADC decisions and Commission of Inquiry by November 2017.

"On the DRC, the Summit noted that it might not be possible to hold elections in December 2017, due to a number of challenges currently receiving attention. Accordingly, Summit has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission of the DRC to publicise the revised electoral calendar. The Summit has also approved the appointment of a SADC Special Envoy to the DRC at the level of a Former Head of State. There are consultations aimed at finalising this matter."

The Summit directed the Secretariat to facilitate the establishment of a regional Natural Gas Committee to promote the inclusion of gas in the regional energy mix and in the promotion of industrial development.

"Summit emphasised the need to have concrete outcomes so as to leverage our natural endowments to change the structure of our economies and promote value-addition with the focus on agro-processing, mineral beneficiation and pharmaceuticals. 

"There is convergence among member states on the importance of working with the private sector in this regard.  Energy security is a critical input to industrial development. This is an indication of our resolve to practically implement our Industrial Strategy and Roadmap."

In order to address the critical constraints of financing the work programme, the President emphasised the need for resource mobilisation, including the Operationalisation of the Regional Development Fund.  "We all remain collectively engaged with working on improving the prosperity and development of our peoples."

He said the SADC Integration Agenda was important for the SADC family of nations.

"The vision of a connected and prosperous African continent, the Continental Free Trade Area should find expression in the work of the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area.

President Zuma expressed his gratitude to King Mswati III, the outgoing Chairperson of SADC, for his valuable contribution and leadership during the period he presided over the Organisation.

He thanked the Republic of Botswana, as the outgoing member of the Troika of the Summit, and congratulate the Republic of Namibia, as the incoming Chair of Summit. 

Regarding the Organ Troika, President Zuma thanked the Republic of Mozambique, as outgoing member and congratulated the Republic of Zambia, as the Incoming Chair of the Organ Troika. 

He also thanked the SADC Secretariat under the Executive Secretary, Dr Tax and her Deputies, for their professionalism and support.

The incoming chair of the Summit, Namibian President Hage Geingob, thanked the South Africa for her hospitality.

He commended King Mswati III for having steered SADC with dexterity and sustained focus towards regional integration through advancing industrialisation programmes during his tenure as SADC chairperson.

He congratulated President Zuma for assuming the chairship of SADC. "We are confident that under your able leadership implementation of SADC programmes will be successfully undertaken to advance regional integration and improve the living standards of SADC citizens.

Dr Tax delivered the 37th SADC Summit Communiqué at the end of the Official Closing Ceremony by highlighting the deliberations and decisions of the Summit as endorsed by Heads of State and Government.
The winners of the 2017 SADC Secondary School Essay Competition and Media Awards were treated to a tour of historical sites in Gauteng by Gauteng Tourism on 19 August 2017.

The winners were all special guests at the Official Opening and Official Closing Ceremonies of the SADC Summit.

The SA Awards winners are Gasietsiwe Moruakgomo from Botswana in the Photographic Category, Patson Phiri from Zambia in the Print Category, Aristides Kito Afonso Jorge from Angola in the Radio Category, and Mbisi Nkosini Samuel and Dennis Tshetlhane from South Africa in the Television Category.

The Secondary School Essay winners are Paul Jiva from Malawi (1st prize), Boemo Tamocha from Botswana (2nd) and Prudence Mavura from Zimbabwe (3rd prize).

Their tour included the OR Tambo Cultural Precinct, the Apartheid Museum, The Nelson Mandela National Museum, The Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum. The group then enjoyed true "Kasi" flavour at the famous Sakhumzi restaurant in Vilakazi Street, Soweto.
Thank you!  Obrigado! Merci!
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Editor: Michelle Greeff
Picture Editor: Jacoline Schoonees
Design and layout: Gladwin Komane


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