Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
SADC bloc is hosting a virtual Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government as Zimbabwe hands over the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation to Botswana.
The summit started yesterday and ends next Tuesday with incoming chair Mozambique being the host country.
The proceedings of the summit will be broadcast from Sunday until the end of the summit.
The summit kick-started with a meeting of the Sadc Standing Committee of senior officials with Finance Committee meeting on today while on Thursday there will be council of ministers meeting.
The Organ Troika Summit commences on Friday followed by the Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government next Monday.
Covid-19 has restricted travelling of people as countries implement measures to contain the spread of the virus.
Governments and the private sector worldwide have resorted to online meetings as part of the measures to mitigate against the spread of the global pandemic which has affected nearly 20 million and killed more than 700 000 people.
In a statement yesterday, Sadc which has followed the global trends by hosting a virtual summit, announced the commencement of the regional summit which should guide the region’s direction.
“The 40th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Sadc and preceding meetings will be held virtually from the 10th to the 17th of August, 2020. In view of the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the summit and preceding meetings will be conducted virtually with a reduced agenda, focusing on the hand-over of the Sadc chairperson-ship and critical institutional matters. The Republic of Mozambique will host the virtual meetings as the Incoming Chair of the 16 Member regional economic bloc,” reads the statement.
“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 between August and September and hosted by the incoming Sadc Chairperson’s country.
Tanzanian President John Magufuli will hand over the chairmanship to his Mozambican counterpart Filipe Jacinto Nyusi while President Mnangagwa hands the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security to Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
“The Republic of Mozambique last hosted the Sadc Summit in 2012, under the Chairpersonship of former President Armando Emílio Guebuza. The Ordinary Sadc Summit will be proceeded by the meeting of the Sadc Standing Committee of Senior Officials; the Sadc Finance Committee; Sadc Council of Ministers Meeting as well as the Organ Troika Senior Officials and Ministerial Council of the Organ Troika, and the Troika Summit,” reads the statement. — @nqotshili