Image: Flickr, GovernmentZA

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Heads of State and Government will meet for the 34th Ordinary Summit at the resort town of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, from on Sunday 17 August to Monday 18 August.  

This meeting of the regional economic community, which includes countries from as far north as Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), will be hosted by President Robert Mugabe. President Mugabe will be taking on the role of SADC Chair for the next year, succeeding the President of Malawi, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika.

The summit takes place amid mounting pressure for leaders to make headway on regional economic integration rather than perceived ceremonial discussions. For example, experts have called for implementation of enabling legislation and concrete action to establish initiatives such as a uni-visa for the region to ease the movement of visitors across borders, and one-stop border posts to ease the passage of goods. The theme of the Summit is ‘SADC Strategy for Economic Transformation: Leveraging the Region’s Diverse Resources for Sustainable Economic and Social Development through Beneficiation and Value Addition.’

Some key questions for the Summit:

  • How can SADC support members states to develop policy capacity to undertake beneficiation and value addition?
  • Do SADC states have the skills, energy and infrastructure resources to support beneficiation and value addition? If not, how can these inputs be funded?
  • Will capacity be increased to implement SADC Summit agreements, and to monitor their implementation?
  • Can SADC remove obstacles to business and movement of people in the region?

Articles and comment by SAIIA experts

SADC leaders must show zeal, Business Report (South Africa), 17 August 2014

Mugabe Takes Over at SADC Bloc in Endorsement of Election Win, Bloomberg News (international), 18 August 2014

Policy changes by SADC leaders are hindering integration and the creation of a customs union, Daily Mail (Zambia), 13 August 2014

Trade curbs stifle SADC integration, The Citizen (Tanzania), 13 August 2014.

SAIIA experts available for interview and resources:

  • Catherine Grant Makokera (Development plan review, obstacles to regional integration and obstacles to SADC private sector investment)
  • Wolfe Braude (summit theme and deeper regional integration)
  • Aditi Lalbahadur (SADC foreign policy, Zimbabwe as SADC Chair)
  • Mark Schoeman (barriers to trade – border posts and transit bonds)
  • Talitha Bertelsmann-Scott (barriers to business in SADC, unlocking economic potential)

For more information or to arrange for interviews please contact:
Mr. Hopewell Radebe
SAIIA Communications Manager
Tel: +27 11 339 2021
Email: media@saiia.org.za