The Southern African Development Community (SADC) will this week hold its 42nd Ordinary Summit in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with leaders from the 16-member bloc expected to discuss progress of its regional integration agenda.
DRC President Felix Tshisekedi is expected to take over the rotating SADC chairmanship from his Malawian counterpart Lazarus Chakwera who has headed the regional grouping since August 2021.
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to present a report on the latest developments in the ongoing conflict in northern Mozambique, the presidency announced on Monday.
Ramaphosa heads the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation and is expected to hand over to Namibia’s President Hage Geingob during the summit in Kinshasa scheduled for 17-18 August.
Ramaphosa’s report would provide progress on the deployment of SADC troops in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province which has experienced attacks by insurgents who have been terrorising the region since 2017.
During the summit “SADC member states will receive an update on progress made in the implementation of strategic policies and previous summit decisions since the last meeting in August of 2021 held in Lilongwe, Malawi,” Ramaphosa’s office said.
The office said South Africa leveraged SADC as its primary foreign policy vehicle for achieving regional development and integration within Southern Africa.
“Given the frequency of natural disasters in the region, the summit is expected to adopt a memorandum of agreement on the establishment and operationalisation of the SADC Humanitarian and Emergency Operations Centre to be hosted in Mozambique,” it said.
It added: “In recognising the role played by non-state actors in this sector, the summit will consider a proposed SADC Mechanism for Engagement with Non-State Actors.”