via LATEST: President leaves for Egypt | The Herald June 8, 2015
President Mugabe today left Harare for Sharm El Sheikh Egypt where he will, in his capacity as chairman of the Sadc, launch the continent’s largest economic bloc; the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA). Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko will be the Acting President. The TFTA will be launched at the 3rd Summit of the Tripartite Heads of State and Governments on Wednesday. The Tripartite consists of 26 states that are members of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the East African Community and Sadc.
Foreign Affair Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said the President had been invited as Sadc chairperson.
Industry and Trade minister Mike Bimha who flew to Egypt on Saturday for pre-launch meetings said that the Tripartite chair is rotational.
“Sadc is the current chair of the tripartite arrangement. So the event is a major milestone in that not only does it create the largest economic bloc in Africa but it comes at a time that Sadc has adopted its Industrialisation strategy. To top it all, the launch comes at a time President Mugabe is the current African Union chairman.”