After regional tour, JPM set to take over as SADC chair

13Jun 2019
Felister Peter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
After regional tour, JPM set to take over as SADC chair

PRESIDENT John Magufuli is set to take over the chairmanship of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) later in August at the 39th summit of Heads of State and government slated for Dar es Salaam.

PRESIDENT John Magufuli

The meeting to be held from August 17 to 18 will be preceded by a meeting of the SADC Council of Ministers and Permanent Secretaries from August 9 to 16.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Prof Palamagamba Kabudi said yesterday that nearly 1000 delegates from member countries will attend the meeting, last held here in 2003 during the tenure of third phase president Benjamin Mkapa.

Holding a press conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday, he said President Magufuli will assume the SADC chairmanship from President Hage Geingob of Namibia.

Prior to the Heads of State meeting, the Fourth SADC Industrialization Week exhibition will be held from July 22 to 26, a crucial event to promote locally made products hoping for a market in the SADC zone.

“The meeting is an opportunity to promote our goods. Tanzania exports more products to SADC countries than other East African Community (EAC) partner states,” the minister noted, urging business people to grab networking and business opportunities linked with the meeting.

The exhibition is being coordinated by the Foreign Affairs ministry in collaboration with Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Prof. Kabudi appealed to the media to help promote the meeting through special programs to be aired by television channels, radios as well as in news and feature articles. He said the media can help to identify and educate business stakeholders on available social and economic opportunities.

“Delegates have also requested an opportunity to memorize Tanzania’s founding president, Julius Nyerere,” he said, noting that Tanzania played a big role in the liberalization of many African countries, mostly in the SADC region.

Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda emphasized that city residents need to maintain peace and tranquility throughout the meeting. He challenged business people to grab opportunities and establish networks with delegates from various countries.

“There will be many opportunities for the business community from a series of SADC events to be held here during President Magufuli’s chairmanship,” he stated.

President Magufuli was nominated Vice Chairman for SADC from August last year to the next summit, during the Heads of State meeting in Windhoek where Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan represented the president.

President Geingob assumed the leadership of the regional organization from his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa.

SADC has 16 member states namely the Comoros, Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Seychelles, Eswatini, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.