Leaders of Southern African nations are meeting in Kinshasa for their 42nd summit. The leaders are expected to review the progress made towards achieving closer integration and deepening regional trade.
The summit will be held under the theme "Promoting Industrialization through Agro-Industry, Mineral Resource Enrichment and Regional Value Chains for Inclusive and Resilient Economic Growth.
The summit comes at a time when the host country is faced with renewed violence in its east. Before fellow leaders, President Felix Tshisekedi denounced 'cowardly and barbaric aggression' against his country by Rwanda.
Some SADC member states such as Malawi and Tanzania are trooop contributors to the UN's Rapid Intervention Brigade under MONUSCO.
Another member of the bloc, Mozambique, is also dealing with a militant insurgency in its northern provinces. A regional force known as SAMIM, alongside forces from Rwanda has managed to win back territory from the Islamic State-linked rebels.
At the end of the summit, Congo will take over the bloc's rotating presidency from Malawi.