Zimbabwe is taking over the leadership of SADC from Malawi.
The opening session was marked by the launch of the Hashim Mbita Publication Project which seeks to document the history of the liberation of southern Africa.
Retired Brigadier-General Hasim Mbita was the executive secretary of the Liberation Committee of the Organisation of African Unity (the precursor to today’s African Union) between 1974 and 1994, and played an important role in supporting the southern African liberation movements..
The OAU Liberation Committee was based in Tanzania where it enjoyed the unconditional support of President Julius Nyerere.
Since he is ill, Mbita was represented at the ceremony by his daughter, Shella Hashim Mbita, who received on his behalf the Monomotapa Prize, and the sum of 100,000 US dollars, in recognition of his role in the liberation of the continent.
Among his first acts as the new SADC chairperson, Mugabe officially launched the SADC statistical yearbook, which should be an important tool for decision taking. “This will allow local and foreign investors to chart their businesses in the region in an efficient and conscious manner”, he said.
The summit, which ends on Monday, is being held under the theme "SADC strategy for economic transformation: Leveraging the region's diverse resources for sustainable economic and social development through beneficial and value addition".
This will be the last SADC summit attended, in their capacity as heads of state, by the Mozambican and Namibian presidents, Armando Guebuza and Hifikepunye Pohamba. Both are coming to the end of their terms of office, and are not constitutionally allowed to stand for a further term.
This summit also marks the return to the SADC fold of Madagascar, which had been suspended from both SADC and the African Union following the coup d’etat of March 2009, which overthrew the democratically elected president, Marc Ravalomanana.
Madagascar was readmitted to the regional and continental bodies after fresh elections were held, and recognised to have been generally free and fair, After a second round of voting in January this year, Hery Rajaonarimampianina took over as the new President of Madagascar.Post published in: News