SADC council of ministers to virtually discuss economic impacts

28May 2020
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
SADC council of ministers to virtually discuss economic impacts

​​​​​​​THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) Council of Ministers is tomorrow expected to meet virtually to discuss economic impacts caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The meeting has been preceded by Permanent Secretaries (PSs) who commenced their tele-conference yesterday.

Opening the PSs conference, chairman of the high level senior officials (PSs) Wilbert Ibuge said the SADC Council of Ministers meeting will bring on board ministers of Foreign Affairs, Industries, Trade and Investments, Finance, Natural Resources and Tourism, Transport and Communication as well as the PSs themselves.

"During the meeting, the ministers will discuss issues of regional importance; consider a number of strategic documents and receive reports on the implementation of various resolutions which the countries agreed to implement to fight Covid-19," he said.

Ibuge who doubles as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation said that the agenda will firstly be discussed by PSs and then be presented to the council of ministers on Friday.

"We will look deeply on the impacts brought by the pandemic, how the disease has affected implementation of various programmes within our region and then come up with resolutions to go forward," Ibuge said.

The meeting will also discuss more on intra-trade status within the SADC region, industrial development and implementation of various strategies and plans towards improving industries in the region.

In March, this year, SADC suspended all face-to-face meetings, adopting video conference following outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Few weeks later, SADC ministers of health met in an extra-ordinary meeting in Dar es Salaam to share existing knowledge and information on the Covid-19 outbreak, which has had devastating global impacts since its outbreak in December 2019, and agree on how to harmonise and coordinate the preparedness and response to Covid-19 in the SADC region.

The meeting also noted the status on the level of preparedness of the member states in addressing Covid-19 and urged member states to put in place national preparedness and response plans as well as contingency and emergency funds to address gaps in prevention, impact mitigation and other interventions.

The meeting also urged member states to institute peer review mechanisms to validate self assessment reports on readiness, and requested international cooperating partners, through the WHO and the Africa centres for disease control and prevention (Africa CDC), to support Member states in the development and implementation of country plans, as well as in resource mobilisation for health-related infrastructure development.

SADC is an organisation established in 1980 as the Southern African Development Coordinating Conference and later in August 1992 transformed into the Southern African Development Community.

The mission of SADC is to promote sustainable and equitable economic growth and socio-economic development through efficient, productive systems, deeper cooperation and integration, good governance and durable peace and security so that the region emerges as a competitive and effective player in international relations and the world economy

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