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All set for SADC chair transfer

THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) chairmanship will be symbolically transferred from Tanzania to Mozambique at the 40th community's Ordinary Summit to be held virtually starting today.

Speaking in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Chairman of SADC Standing Committee of Senior Officials, who doubles as Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Ministry, Ambassador Brig Gen Wilbert Ibuge, revealed that ambassadors of the two countries would be used in transferring of the chairmanship symbolically.

Brig Gen Ibuge stated that during the Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government next Monday, President John Magufuli will hand over SADC chairmanship to Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi through Mozambique Ambassador to Tanzania, Ms Monica Mussa.

Mozambique Ambassador will travel to Dodoma, where the Summit on the part of Tanzania will be held.

President Magufuli took over the leadership of the regional bloc from Dr Hage Geingob, the President of the Republic of Namibia in August last year.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Prof Palamagamba Kabudi will hand over chairmanship of the SADC council of ministers to his Mozambican counterpart through Tanzania's Ambassador to Mozambique.

Likewise, Maj Gen Ibuge will hand over chairmanship of the SADC Standing Committee of Senior Officials to his Mozambican counterpart through Tanzania's Ambassador to Mozambique.

The use of ambassadors in handing over and acceptance of chairmanship comes as continuation of the SADC measures against spread of the Covid-19.

Since the pandemic erupted, the Member States opted using the videoconferencing in conducting their meetings.

Highlighting the Ordinary Summit and the preceding meetings, Maj Gen Ibuge said the meeting of the Standing Committee of Senior Officials will be held from today up to Wednesday followed by the meeting of the council of ministers on Thursday. These two meetings will be held in Dar es Salaam.

The Republic of Mozambique will host the virtual meetings as the incoming chair of the 16-member regional economic bloc.

Last year, when accepting the chairmanship from Dr Hage Geingob, President Magufuli insisted that African countries were not poor as they have numerous economic potentials and sources of revenues.

He said Tanzania was fully committed to SADC and considered the regional body as an integral part of the country's future.

Dr Magufuli showed concerns over the low level of industrialisation in Africa, with most exports being raw materials. This makes Africa’s rating in global trade be lowest, he said.

He was upbeat that introducing the industrialisation week during each annual Summit of Heads of States would promote industrialisation in the region.

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 SADC 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.

The current SADC troika comprises President Magufuli as the Chairperson of SADC; his predecessor Dr Geingob, the outgoing chairperson and President Nyusi as the incoming chairperson.

The troika for the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation comprises of President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe as the Chairperson of the Organ; his predecessor President Edgar Lungu of Zambia as the outgoing chairperson of the organ and Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi the President of Botswana as the incoming chairperson of the organ.

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