President in Swaziland for Sadc summit
PRESIDENT Mugabe arrived here last night to attend the 36th Sadc Heads of State and Government Summit which opens at Lozitha Royal Palace today.
He was received at King Mswati III International Airport in Sikhuphe by Swazi Education Minister Phineas Magagula, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Mozambique, Major-General Nicholas Dube and Ministers Patrick Chinamasa (Finance) and Mike Bimha (Industry and Commerce) who had travelled ahead of the President.
He is travelling with Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and other senior Government officials and was seen off at Harare International Airport by Vice-Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, Ministers Ignatius Chombo, Christopher Mushohwe and Kembo Mohadi, and Chief Secretary Dr Misheck Sibanda and service chiefs. VP Mnangagwa is Acting President. Themed “Resource Mobilisation for Investment in Sustainable Energy Infrastructure for an Inclusive Sadc Industrialisation for the Prosperity of the Region”, the summit will discuss regional integration, industrialisation, food security and Lesotho’s constitutional reform.
The Sadc Energy Sector Plan tops the agenda, targeting to increase electricity generation from 56 000 megawatts to more than 96 000MW.
It identifies 73 projects which regional leaders believe will spur industrialisation.
In 2015 alone, new projects fed 1 864MW into the Southern African Power Pool, with an additional 3 932MW projected this year.
South Africa will contribute 1 624MW to the 2016 target; supported by Angola (930MW), the DRC (458MW), Mozambique (360MW), Zambia (310MW) and Zimbabwe (200MW).
Summit will also consider the monetised action plan for the region’s industrialisation strategy steered through by President Mugabe during his tenure as Sadc Chair (August 2014–August 2015).
Foreign Ministers have already discussed the budget, and want it finalised at an extraordinary summit in February/March 2017.
The Sadc Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap (2015-2063) has three pillars — industrialisation, enhanced competitiveness and deeper regional integration.
Its strategic interventions involve refining policies, increasing public and private sector investment volumes, creating regional value chains and boosting value addition.
Sadc also plans to develop and operationalise an industry protocol by 2020, leading to Member States adopting national industrialisation policies and strategies.
Further, states will be required to develop national Industrialisation Upgrading and Modernisation Programmes by 2018 and implement them by 2020.
The overarching Sadc IUMP focuses on upgrading existing manufacturing capacities, modernising productive facilities, reinforcing institutional support infrastructure and bolstering research and innovation capacity.
A committee appointed by the Sadc Double Troika in June 2016 to oversee constitutional and security sector reforms in Lesotho will also table its report to Summit.
King Mswati III of Swaziland is scheduled to take over the bloc’s rotational chairmanship from Botswana President Lieutenant-General Seretse Khama Ian Khama.