Joseph Madzimure Senior Reporter
THE SADC Council of Ministers meeting, which was held virtually yesterday resolved to work on an integrated approach to tackle hunger in the region.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo represented Zimbabwe in the meeting which was part of preparations for the 40th Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government which will also be held virtually on August 17.
Speaking to the media last night, Dr Moyo said the regional body discussed a number of issues to improve livelihoods and fight hunger in the region.
The SADC ministers meeting considered the draft SADC Vision 2050 and the revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020-2030 and recommended the two strategic documents for approval by the 40th SADC Summit.
SADC members states have been severely hit by recurrent droughts owing to climate change.
“We have also looked at the formulation of the SADC post-2020 agenda and this because the current Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) of SADC expired this year.
“Therefore, there is a new RISDP which is going to be formed from 2020 and projecting up to 2030 even up to 2050,” said Minister Moyo.
“This is very critical because it is a road map of SADC. We have raised issues that were drawn from the lessons of founders, that each member state in the SADC organ used to have an activity for which it was responsible. For example, Zimbabwe was responsible for agriculture and South Africa was responsible for industrialisation.
“Therefore, all these within the regional indicative strategic development plan must be so comprehensive and must draw lessons from the founders’ vision and where we are going so that we can end up having as a region, internal capacities like a regional bank, regional currencies and all issues so that there is total regional integration within the community itself,” said Minister Moyo.
The Minister of State Security Owen Ncube, the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Kazembe Kazembe and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Permanent Secretary Ambassador James Manzou also participated in the meeting along with other top Government officials.
Minister Moyo said with the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, the new normal had been adopted as the virtual conferences.
“Since our last meeting in Tanzania last year, we have resolved that all the other meetings which are going to be taking place, are going to be taking place virtually.
“There is another SADC Organ Troika summit which is going to take place tomorrow (today) where the tenure of Zimbabwe as the chairperson of the Organ will be coming to an end. Zimbabwe is going to continue sitting in the Organ as the outgoing chair.”
Zimbabwe will formally hand over the chairmanship to Botswana.
Minister Moyo said the meeting was the periodic review of a number of issues affecting the mandate of SADC.
They examined the report of the executive secretary over the various issues which included an analysis of the socio economic impact of Covid-19 and the implications on the SADC region.
Mozambican Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Verónica Nataniel Macamo Dlhovo took over the Chairpersonship of the SADC Council of Ministers from the outgoing chairperson Tanzanian Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Prof Palamagamba John Kabudi.