President Hakainde Hichilema is this week expected to attend the 42nd Ordinary Summit of Southern African Development Community(SADC) Heads of State and Government scheduled for August 17th to 18th, 2022 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC).
President Hichilema will be attending the annual regional Summit for the first time since assuming office in August 2021.
Minister of Foreign Affair and International Cooperation, Stanley Kakubo in a statement made available to ZANIS this evening said President Hichilema’s visit at the 42nd ordinary summit is in accordance with SADC Summit tradition for newly elected Heads of State.
He further stated that the President is expected to deliver his maiden speech and is also scheduled to hold bilateral meetings on the margins of the Summit.
The Ordinary Summit will be convened under the theme: “Promoting Industrialization through agro-processing, mineral beneficiation, and regional value chains for inclusive and resilient economic growth”.
“The Summit is also expected to review progress on the implementation of the SADC regional integration Agenda as outlined in the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020-2030, which seeks to promote a peaceful, inclusive, competitive, and middle-to-high income industrialized bloc,” Mr Kakubo stated.
The Minister added that the Heads of State and Government will also deliberate on, among other issues, the Covid-19 Pandemic situation, the food and nutrition situation in the region, mitigation of disasters in the region, and development cooperation and resource mobilization for regional integration programmes and projects.
President Hichilema has reiterated Zambia’s commitment to increased trade and investment amongst African countries and the Summit theme resonates with Government’s Economic Transformation Agenda.
The President has also continued to underscore the importance of peace and security as a prerequisite to the achievement of social and economic development in the regional integration agenda.
He noted that the inaugural participation of the President in the SADC Summit will further reassert Zambia’s influential historical position in the SADC family.
The President is expected to return to Zambia immediately after his participation in the Summit.
Meanwhile the Summit was preceded by the meeting of the SADC Council of Ministers that took place on 13th and 14th of August 2022 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.