MASERU – The week-long 40th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and all preceding meetings will be held virtually beginning August 10 to 17. A statement released by the regional organ on Tuesday says in view of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the meetings will also have a reduced agenda, focusing on the hand-over of the SADC chairpersonship and critical institutional matters.
Mozambique will host the meetings as the incoming chair of the 16 member regional economic bloc. The opening and closing ceremony of the Summit will be broadcast live by Televisão de Moçambique (TVM) the national public broadcaster of Mozambique. The SADC Summit is responsible for the overall policy direction and control of functions of the community, ultimately making it the policy-making institution of SADC; the Summit is made up of all SADC Heads of States or Government and is managed on a Troika system that comprises the current SADC Chairperson, the incoming Chairperson and the immediate previous Chairperson.
The Ordinary SADC Summit usually meets once a year around August or September in a Member State of the incoming SADC Chairperson. SADC is 16 members grouping established in 1980 as the Southern African Development Coordinating Conference and transformed in the present-day SADC in August 1992. Its mission is to promote sustainable and equitable economic growth and socio-economic development through efficient, productive systems, deeper cooperation and integration, good governance and durable peace and security; so that the region emerges as a competitive and effective player in international relations and the world economy.
Member states are Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, eSwatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.