SADC summit to deepen integration


PRESIDENT Lungu is this Friday expected in Swaziland for the extra-ordinary summit of Southern African Development Community (SADC), Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba has announced.
Mr Kalaba said the President will return on Sunday.
He said the summit will provide a platform for dialogue and exchange of ideas on strengthening and deepening regional integration among the 15-member states.
Mr Kalaba said the key issues to be discussed at the summit include consideration of the report of the ministerial retreat on the ‘SADC We Want’.
He said the report will also focus on the review of progress on the implementation of SADC programmes, the current challenges and prospects in SADC and explore alternative sources of financing for enhancing trade and market integration.
Mr Kalaba said the summit will also consider expanding SADC membership by looking at the applications from Burundi and the Comoros to join the regional organisation.
“The discussions at the summit will also focus on fast-tracking industrialisation and regional integration. You may wish to know that in 2015 SADC adopted the regional industrialisation strategy and this time the summit is expected to adopt the action plan and roll it out for implementation in member states,” Mr Kalaba said.
He said President Lungu is expected to make several interventions at the summit and use the platform to promote Zambia’s national interest for the benefit of the Zambian people.
“I must stress that it is important for President Lungu to personally attend this important summit to ensure that Zambia is not left behind in the process of making-decisions that shape the direction and future of our region and continent,” Mr Kalaba said.

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