The 37th summit of the Southern African Development Community, SADC summit officially started in Pretoria on Saturday with focus on the role of the public and private sector in driving development in the region.
Speaking during the opening event, African development bank chair, Akinwumi Adesina announced planned investments to accelerate the role of SADC in the development of Africa. South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma thinks it is time for the organisation to work even harder.“The time is opportune for all of us as heads of state and government, to take stock of the progress as well as opportunities created since SADC’s inception,“Jacob Zuma said.
Regional leaders discussed proposals about a new SADC secretariat structure, which will plan, facilitate, coordinate and manage programmes. The body is ready to lay emphasis on a regional agricultural investment plan geared towards promoting productivity and competitiveness.
“While we have achieved certain milestones, there is still a lot more work to be done. During our 10 years of office we are grateful that SADC member states enabled us to vigorously promote industrial development, which is significant for the economic growth of our nation,” King Mswati III of Swaziland said.
Various reflections of participants during the summit have been focused on maintaining a secured and peaceful region. The need for interconnectivity has become even more urgent as the SADC builds a vision aligned to the African Union’s 2063 agenda.