SADC Council of Ministers are scheduled to hold a virtual meeting tomorrow to consider issues of regional development, cooperation and the economic impact of Covid-19.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo will participate in the meeting that will also discuss recommendations from member countries on the coordinated action against the global pandemic.
The meeting will be chaired by Prof Palamagamba John Kabudi, who is Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Minister of Tanzania and chair of the Sadc Council of Ministers.
Prof Kabudi will be supported by the Sadc executive secretary, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax.
In a statement, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade spokesperson, Ms Constance Chemwayi, said Dr Moyo will be joined by Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube, Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza and Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo.
“The Council of Ministers’ meeting will consider among other issues, recommendations from the Committee of Ministers of Health’s extraordinary meeting in relation to Covid-19, socio-economic impact of Covid-19 and its implications on the Sadc region and review on the Sadc intra-trade and Sadc industrialisation.
The ministers’ meeting will be preceded by a meeting of senior officials held yesterday and another one scheduled for today.
The Sadc Standing Committee of Senior Officials started their meeting yesterday to review and clear documents in preparation for the Council of Ministers meeting.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Ambassador Wilbert Augustine Ibuge, Tanzania’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation and the chair of the Standing Committee Sadc senior officials, urged thorough deliberations on issues in preparation for the meeting of the Council of Ministers.
The ministers will review the regional guidelines for the harmonisation and facilitation of movement of critical goods and services across the Sadc region during the Covid-19 pandemic, which Council adopted on April 6, 2020.
They will also discuss the need to accelerate implementation of regional strategies and instruments that are aimed at responding to crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic, including the Regional Development Fund; the Preparedness and Response and Disaster Fund and the Regional Resilient Strategic Framework 2020 to 2030.
This will be the third virtual meeting of the Sadc Council of Ministers since the outbreak of Covid-19.
The mandate of the Council of Ministers, which consists of ministers from each member State, usually from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Economic Planning or Finance, is to oversee the functioning of the Sadc institution and ensure that its policies and decisions are implemented.