President to assert Zim’s commitment to SADC

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

President to assert Zim’s commitment to SADC 
President Mnangagwa

Wallace Ruzvidzo

Herald Reporter

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa is set to assert Zimbabwe’s commitment to playing its role in bringing the SADC region closer to its aspirations as articulated in the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (2020-2030), upon assumption of the bloc’s chairmanship, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Frederick Shava has said.

These include peace and security; industrial development and market integration; infrastructural development; social and human capital development; food, agriculture and natural resources; environment and climate change; disaster risk management as well as the cross-cutting issues of gender equality and women empowerment; and youth development and empowerment among others.

In an update ahead of the 44th SADC summit of Heads of State and Government in Harare next month, Amb Shava yesterday said during his tenure as chair of the regional bloc, the President would champion regional collaboration in building the region’s innovative capacity.

Under the Second Republic, President Mnangagwa has continued to stress that innovation is the engine that will drive development and prosperity not only domestically but across the region. 

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Frederick Shava

“For Zimbabwe, this Summit is particularly important as the President, His Excellency Dr Emmerson D Mnangagwa, will assume the Chairmanship of SADC, taking over from his dear colleague and brother, HE Joao Lourenço, President of the Republic of Angola. 

“The chairmanship provides an opportunity for the country to intensify its contribution to regional integration.

“As chair, Zimbabwe will be responsible for providing leadership and policy direction to the regional bloc for the year 2024/2025,” Amb Shava said.

Zimbabwe’s assumption of the SADC chair will also bolster the country’s bid for a non-permanent United Nations Security Council (UNSC) seat in 2027.

Amb Shava said President Mnangagwa would pronounce his vision for the bloc upon assumption of the office of SADC chair.

“The summit, as the highest decision making body of the regional bloc, will also provide political commitment, direction to the implementation of regional projects and programmes in different thematic areas of the regional indicative strategic development plan. It’s a plan of the 16 countries, these include; peace and security, industrial development and market integration as well as infrastructural development,” he said.

Turning to preparations for the summit, Ambassador Shava said final works were underway, with the SADC Secretariat set to jet into the country this month for their third and final assessment mission.

This follows the positive feedback Zimbabwe received following the two assessments undertaken in February and May by the SADC team.

“The SADC Secretariat is expected to conduct its final assessment sometime this July. The Inter-Ministerial Preparatory Task Force is working round the clock to ensure that all vital areas are accorded the attention that they deserve. Administrative and logistical arrangements; road rehabilitation; sprucing up of accommodation facilities; improvement of mobile and internet connectivity; water, energy and power supply and other infrastructural preparatory works are at different levels of completion. 

“I am confident that the summit will be a resounding success, and that these ongoing infrastructural developments will benefit the general population beyond the summit,” Ambassador Shava said.

In a post-Cabinet media briefing yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Dr Jenfan Muswere, said in terms of works, corrective measures were being carried out where needed but overall, everything was in place.

“We have put everything in place, and we are confident that the hosting of the summit will be successful,” said Dr Muswere. 

“The success of the SADC Summit, as we have hosted many other summits and conferences before, has clearly defined Zimbabwe as the paragon of international relations, which has clearly demonstrated that Zimbabwe as a country has got a successful strategy in terms of being a member of the international community.”

Meanwhile, Cabinet yesterday considered and approved the ratification of the SADC Protocol on Environmental Management for Sustainable Development, as presented by the Attorney-General, Mrs Virginia Mabiza, on behalf of the Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Legislation. 

“The Protocol establishes principles derived from the Rio Declaration on Sustainable Development, which include cooperation in good faith among State Parties, sovereign rights of State Parties to use their resources, participation of all interested parties in environmental governance, resolution of differences amicably, placing the needs of people at the centre of development, precautionary approach, polluter pays principle and extended producer responsibility among others. 

“The Protocol is in line with the National Development Strategy 1 pillar on environmental protection, climate resilience and sustainable natural resources management, and ratification of the Protocol will enhance cooperation with other SADC member states,” said Dr Muswere.