Deputy News Editor
THE Southern African Development Community (Sadc) will today hold an extraordinary Council of Ministers virtual meeting to deliberate on cross border issues affecting the region such as the management and monitoring of cross border transport at designated points of entry and Covid-19 checkpoints.
Today’s meeting is a follow-up to the decision of the Council of Ministers in May which directed the implementation of the protocol on health issues.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Dr Sibusiso Moyo will lead a high-level Zimbabwe delegation to the virtual meeting at Cresta Lodge in Harare.
Confirming today’s meeting, Foreign Affairs and International Trade deputy spokesperson Mr Livit Mugejo said: “The meeting is pursuant to the decision of the Council of Ministers held on 29 May 2020 which, among others, directed the expanded technical committee on monitoring the implementation of the protocol on health, to meet by 6 June and review the draft guidelines and standard operating procedures and submit to the Council of Ministers for consideration and adoption.”
Dr Moyo will be accompanied by Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe, Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube, Industry and Commerce Minister Sekai Nzenza and State Security Minister Owen Ncube.
Last month’s council meeting was also held virtually and chaired by Prof Palamagamba John Kabudi, Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation.
The council urged Sadc member states to source medical equipment and supplies from the region and to engage the private sector to redirect some of the manufacturing towards production of personal protective equipment (PPEs).
The Sadc secretariat also agreed to disseminate a list of essential medical equipment manufacturers and establish an online platform to facilitate easy access to information on manufacturers and suppliers of medical equipment needed to tackle Covid-19.
Council also noted that while the regional guidelines on harmonisation and facilitation of movement of essential goods and services across the Sadc region, which were adopted on April 6, 2020, had played a critical role in facilitating movement of goods, there were challenges which required urgent attention.
Recognising the urgent need to cooperate with other regional economic communities and the African Union (AU), Council also directed the secretariat to coordinate with Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and the East African Community (EAC) in the context of the tripartite arrangement, and the AU at continental level, to align and harmonise measures and regulations.