SADC ministers to meet in DRC

Friday, September 4, 2009

Pretoria - The impact of the global economic crisis on southern Africa is expected to take centre stage as the region's ministers meet in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) tomorrow ahead of the Southern African Democratic Community (SADC) Summit.

South Africa's International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane will chair the SADC Council of Ministers' meeting for the last time as the country hands over the SADC chairmanship to DRC.

"South Africa will participate in the SADC Council of Ministers' meeting within the context of strengthening SADC which remains the primary vehicle to achieve regional development and integration," the department said in a statement.

SADC, as one of the regional economic communities on the continent, is regarded as a building block in the consolidation of African agenda and wider continental integration.

Other matters expected to be under discussion during the two-day meeting include the fragile political situation in Zimbabwe and the state of administration and finances of SADC.

"It is expected that the council of Ministers will discuss progress made in the regional economic integration process in preparation for Summit, particularly relating to the consolidation of the SADC Free Trade Area (FTA) launched in August 2008 and the next milestone of the SADC customs union," read the statement.

In her capacity as the Chair of the SADC Council, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane will also chair the Ministerial Interview Committee Meeting scheduled to take place on Friday to interview candidates for the positions of SADC Deputy Executive Secretaries for Regional Integration and Administration and Finance, respectively.