August 15, 2023

SADC Council of Ministers deliberates on regional integration agenda, ahead of the 43rd SADC Summit

The Council of Ministers of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) met in Luanda, Republic of Angola on 13-14 August 2023 to deliberate on the implementation of regional integration issues in preparation for the 43rd SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government to be held on 17th August, 2023.

During the opening ceremony of the meeting of the Council of Ministers, His Excellency, Ambassador Téte António, Minister of External Relations of the Republic of Angola took over the Chairship of the Council of Ministers from His Excellency, Mr Antipas Mbusa Nyamwisi, Minister of Regional Integration and Francophonie of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), who was represented by His Excellency, Mr Kibasa Maliba, Minister of Telecommunications, Posts and Information Technologies.

In his acceptance speech, His Excellency, Ambassador Téte António, said under the Chairship of Angola, the SADC region will pay attention and focus on Human and Financial Capital as a catalyst forindustrialization guided by the theme; “Human and Financial Capital: The Key Drivers for Sustainable Industrialisation in the SADC Region”. The theme seeks to address two of the most critical enablers in supporting regional industrialisation, namely adequate human resources within the context of climate change and 4th Industrial Revolution, and adequate financial resources to ensure more sustainable funding mechanisms.

“Only with a population, especially the youth, that is educated, trained and prepared to face the challenges and opportunities of the fourth industrial revolution, with main focus on the digitalization of economies, will we be able to make qualitative progress in the industrialization process,” H.E. Ambassador Téte Antóniosaid.

His Excellency Amb. Téte António, underscored the need for sustained peace and security, highlighting that that it is only possible to guarantee the successful implementation of the SADC Development and Industrialisation Agenda in a context of peace and security, since peace, security and stability are indispensable prerequisites for economic development.

In his remarks, His Excellency Mr Kibasa Maliba expressed gratitude to the Council for the support rendered to the DRC during its tenure as chair of SADC noting that several milestones were achieved.

“Over the past year, we have worked hand in hand to find ways of addressing a multitude of challenges that threaten to reverse the gains we have made in our collective pursuit of an integrated and prosperous region”, said His Excellency Maliba.

His Excelency Maliba said, guided by the 42nd SADC Summit Theme; "Promoting industrialisation through agro-processing, mineral beneficiation and regional value-chains for inclusive and resilient economic growth", the SADC region implemented activities to improve the deployment of SADC's industrialisation and market integration programmes, as set out in the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP, 2020-2030).

The Minister called on the region to find ways of empowering our young people, unlocking their potential and creating pathways for their success so that they can have a share in the prosperity of the region. 

One of the ways to create opportunities for the youth is to accelerate implementation of the industrialisation agenda which has the potential to boost economic growth and reduce poverty,” the Minister said.

The Executive Secretary of SADC, H.E. Elias Mpedi Magosi, highlighted the region's progress towards the achievement of the outcomes articulated in the RISDP 2020-2030, as well as global and continental developments that impacted the SADC Region's progress towards regional integration.

The Executive Secretary urged Member States to continue making progress in pursuing the various regional integration targets and accelerating the regional integration agenda while addressing the challenges so as to remove the bottlenecks that are slowing integration, industrialization, and market access in the region.

H.E Magosi noted that the region made tremendous progress in enhancing regional integration and cooperation. He noted the spirit of solidarity by Member States to building peace and stability in the region, citing the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) which was deployed in July 2021 to support the Government to fight terrorism and violent extremism in the Cabo Delgado Province. 

H.E. Magosi expressed concern over the deteriorating security situation in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo where armed groups continue to terrorise citizens, leading to displacement of the population, especially women, girls, and children. On this note, H.E. Magosi said the region approved the deployment of the SADC Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (SAMIDRC) as a regional response against armed groups in the eastern DRC to restore peace and peace.

The Council of Ministers observed a Moment of Silence in solidarity and remembrance of and expressed condolences to the governments and families of the soldiers who lost their lives while serving in SAMIM, as well as commended the determination, uniqueness, and complementarity of the combined efforts in combating the threat of terrorism and violent extremism in Cabo Delgado Province.

The Council of Ministers oversees the functioning and development of SADC and ensures that organisation’s policies are properly implemented. The Council consists of Ministers from each Member State, usually from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Economic Planning or Finance. It is usually preceded by the meeting of the SADC Standing Committee of Senior Officials, which is a technical advisory committee to the Council of Ministers.