Sadc Summit in Zim will be a record of excellence: President

AS preparations for the 44th Southern African Development Community Summit to be hosted in Zimbabwe gather momentum, President Mnangagwa is confident the meeting will be a resounding success, saying the country has the capacity to handle the task.

The President was responding to questions from journalists here on Monday after he officially opened the 56th UNECA Conference of Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, which ended yesterday.

He explained that all the 16 SADC member States wish to host the summit at some point and Zimbabwe is no exception.

“I don’t think there is any one of the 16 (SADC member States) which should be looked down upon, not to host SADC, and we are one of the 16,” said President Mnangagwa.

“And we will host it. And I believe that it will be a record of excellence as we host it because of our people like you (media), I believe in you.

“I believe you will give a fantastic coverage of the SADC Summit when we host it here, and I think we have the capacity to host SADC here.”

President Mnangagwa will assume the Chairmanship of the regional body at the summit. The post is presently held by President Joao Lourenco of Angola.

Zimbabwe was elected Vice Chair in last August after a Heads of State and Government meeting in Luanda, Angola.

The country will then hold the position for a year.

Already, a SADC preparatory team led by the regional bloc’s Deputy Executive Secretary, Corporate Affairs, Dr Judith Kateera, has visited Zimbabwe to assess Harare’s preparedness to host the summit.

The team visited the new Parliament Building, which will host the event and then checked on some of the hotels that will accommodate delegates. They also toured the Museum of African Liberation, which the Heads of State and Government will visit.

It expressed satisfaction with the preparations so far.

Zimbabwe has been hosting a number of events such as the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA 2023) in December last year.

ICASA attracted over 10 000 delegates from 150 countries, including 200 journalists.

The country has also hosted the 56th UNECA Conference of Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, which ended yesterday.

On Zimbabwe’s assumption of the Chair of the UNECA Council of Ministers of Finance for a year, President Mnangagwa said: “It’s quite an honour that UNECA has felt it proper to have Zimbabwe as Chair of UNECA.

“We feel we have been honoured and I have no doubt that we will do our best to carry out the burden of chairing UNECA.”

The UNECA conference attracted 32 high-level representatives and over 200 delegates from across  Africa.

In an interview yesterday, United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary of ECA, Mr Claver Gatete, said this year’s conference has been extraordinary in the sense that ministers were more interested in finding solutions as opposed to being just a talk show.


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