PRETORIA, Fifteen Heads of State and Government are arriving in South Africa for the 37th Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit starting Saturday Aug 19.

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and Swaziland's King Mswati III are already in the country.

South Africa is hosting the 15-member regional summit which is running under the theme: "Partnering with the private sector in developing industry and regional value chains".

The leaders will use the summit to focus on how public-private partnerships could be harnessed to drive forward the industrialisation agenda of the regional bloc.

The summit will, among others, take an overview of the socio-economic situation in the region, gender and development, status on the implementation of the industrialisation strategy and roadmap and a request from the Union of Comoros and Burundi to join SADC.

The regional leaders were also expected to discuss the proposed new structure on the SADC secretariat.

The summit will also pay tribute to outgoing President Dos Santos of Angola, who will be stepping down after 37 years as president. He played a crucial role in leading his country out of a protracted civil war.

President Jacob Zuma is also expected to take over the rotating chairmanship of the bloc from Swaziland's King Mswati III.

Cabinet has indicated that Pretoria will use its position to strategically advance the country's national interests as outlined in the National Development Plan, drive regional and continental industrialisation and integration to boost the implementation of Africa Agenda 2063 of the African Union.

Although the political and security situation in the region has remained peaceful and stable there has been some challenges in the Kingdom of Lesotho and continued insecurity in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo which will be discussed.

Meanwhile, the SADC Facilitator to the Kingdom of Lesotho, will also table a report to the SADC Double Troika Summit later today. The troika will be attended by Tanzania, Angola, Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland.

The new Lesotho government is also expected to table a reform roadmap to the troika.

This follows consultations between Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa with the new government, leaders of opposition parties, the college of chiefs and civil society stakeholders in the Kingdom, charting the path for the full implementation of SADC decisions on constitutional and security sector reforms.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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