President Zuma concludes a successful visit to Botswana for the SADC Summit
President Jacob Zuma has today, 18 August 2015, concluded a successful visit to Gaborone, in the Republic of Botswana, where he led the South African delegation at the 35th Ordinary Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit of Heads of State and Government.
SADC is the primary vehicle used by the sub-region to promote balanced and equitable integration among its Member States, and to achieve sustainable development, allowing the region to address the key challenge of unemployment and poverty eradication.
The summit was held under the theme: “Accelerating Industrialisation of SADC Economies through Transformation of Natural Endowment and Improved Human Capital”. Accordingly, the summit focused much attention on the implementation of the Industrialisation Strategy and Road Map and the Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan 2015-2020.
President Zuma said the adoption of the Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan 2015-2020 was a major milestone in SADC’s endevours to promote intra-regional trade. “From here, officials will work on the technical aspects of the RISDP and identify bankable projects and make a cost analysis. We have already identified infrastructure development as one of the potential drivers of shared growth and prosperity,” said President Zuma.
The Republic of Botswana has assumed the role of Chair of SADC, taking over from the Republic of Zimbabwe. The Republic of Mozambique has assumed the Chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, taking over from the Republic of South Africa.
The Summit reviewed the state of peace, security and stability in the region, paying particular attention to the political and security situation in the Kingdom of Lesotho. In this regard, South Africa delivered its handover report to the SADC Summit as chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation for the period August 2014 to August 2015.
The Summit concluded with the signing of the following agreements/protocols:
1. Agreement Amending the Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation (Protocol) and Agreement Amending the Treaty of the Southern African Development Community (Treaty)
The amendment of the Protocol and the Treaty seek to allow the Inter-State Defence and Security Committee of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation to serve as a coordinating forum for the Chiefs of Corrections and Prisons in Southern Africa. The amendment of the Protocol is aimed at establishing a structure to expressly accommodate regional prisons services and related matters.
2. Declaration on Youth Development and Empowerment
The aim of the Declaration is to draw the attention and commitment of SADC Heads of State and Government to the urgency of youth development and empowerment in the context of regional cooperation, integration, development and peace and security in the region.
The declaration highlights key challenges facing the youth in SADC and calls upon Member States to commit and invest in youth in the areas of: economic empowerment; social development; political participation and governance; youth in emergency situations; security of vulnerable youth; research and monitoring, evaluation and reporting on youth.
3. Protocol on Trade Services (signed by other member states in 2012)
The objectives of the Protocol on Trade in Services (PTS) are to liberalise intra-SADC trade in services with a view to creating a single market for services in the region. The PTS provides a framework within which specific liberalization commitments must be negotiated, through successive rounds of negotiations. Six priority sectors were identified for the first round: communication, construction, energy, finance, tourism, and transport. Other sectors will be negotiated in successive rounds.
Services are critical for industrial development. The objectives of the Protocol are in accordance with the importance that South Africa attaches to regional economic integration and the development of the African continent. SA has a well-developed services sector, which is already active in many SADC countries. Services account for 67% of SA’s GDP, the second highest in SADC; this varies from 24% (Angola) to 71% (Mauritius).
President Zuma was accompanied at the Summit by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, State Security Minister David Mahlobo and Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas.