The two-day SADC Council of Ministers meeting was opened on Thursday 16th March 2017 at Royal Swazi Hotel in Ezulwini, Kingdom of Swaziland. During the two days, Ministers will discuss issues of regional importance and consider a number of strategic documents, ahead of the Extra-ordinary Summit of SADC Heads of States and Government that will take place on the 18th March, 2017 in the Kingdom of Swaziland.
The Council of Ministers will, among others, receive the reports of the meeting of the Senior Officials, the Ministerial Task Force, and the Ministerial retreat held before their meeting. Furthermore, the Council of Ministers will discuss the Draft Costed Action Plan of the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap 2015-2063, and the Annual Performance Report of the SADC Secretariat covering the period 2016/2017, and consider the SADC Secretariat’s Corporate Plans for 2017/2018 with an estimated expenditure of US$71.195 million.
Delivering his opening remarks Opening remarks, during the opening session, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Swaziland, Honourable Senator Paul Dlamini commended the Ministers for the outcomes of their retreat held on March 12-13, 2017. Referring to the report of the latter, Senator Dlamini stated that “These options and resolutions on the future direction need to be taken seriously and implemented to make SADC a better organisation”.
SADC Executive Secretary, Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax welcomed welcome remarksthe Ministers and Officials at the meeting and took the opportunity to pay tribute to His Majesty, King Mswati III and his Government for the guidance provided in the implementation of the SADC Regional Integration and Development Agenda since he assumed chairpersonship of SADC in August 2016.
The Council is attended by Ministers from the 15 SADC Member States and was preceded by the meetings of Senior Officials of the Ministerial Task Force on Regional Economic Integration; the Finance Committee; the Standing Committee of Senior Officials; the Ministers of Justice; the Ministerial Task Force on Regional Economic Integration and the Ministerial Retreat, from 6th to 14th March 2017 in the Kingdom of Swaziland.