SADC leaders concerned about slow growth in intra-SADC trade

The 39th Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit of Heads of States and Government has noted with great concern the slow growth in the intra-SADC trade levels.

This was revealed by SADC's Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax while announcing the resolutions of the 39th Ordinary Summit on Sunday.

She said the SADC leaders who met during the Summit closed-door session expressed concern over the region's ongoing exports of unprocessed raw material to the rest of the world, thereby forfeiting the potential benefits of the resource endowments.

'To this effect, Summit agreed to accelerate the implementation of the industrialization strategy,' Lawrence Tax said.

Announcing the resolutions of the 39th Ordinary Summit, SADC's Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax said the Summit applauded the Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Madagascar and South Africa for holding peaceful and successful elections during the year.

The Summit was held under the theme: 'A Conducive Environment of Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, Increased Intra-Regional Trade and Job Creation.

The Summit commended the region's outgoing chairperson, President Hage Geingob, and outgoing chair of the Organ on Politics and Security Cooperation, Zambian President Edgar Lungu for the role and contribution they made towards peaceful elections and peaceful transfer of power while maintaining territorial integrity in the DRC.

The Summit further expressed solidarity with the people of the Western Sahara and Saharawi Democratic Republic by urging African Union member States to ensure that the Western Sahara is not excluded from participating in continental and international events.

The Summit also noted the adverse impact of prolonged economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe and expressed solidarity with the country while calling for the immediate lifting of the sanctions to facilitate socio-economic recovery in the country.

It further declared 25 October 2019 as the date upon which SADC Member States would collectively voice their disapproval of the sanctions through various activities and platforms until the sanctions are lifted.

Kiswahili was approved as the Fourth SADC Official Working Language, in addition to French, Portuguese and English, in recognition of Julius Nyerere's role in the liberation struggle of Southern Africa.

Source: Namibia Press Agency