SADC leaders arrive in Harare for extraordinary summit

The 15-member bloc aims to promote regional economic integration and industrial development

SADC leaders arrive in Harare for extraordinary summit

World Bulletin / News Desk

 Southern African leaders started arriving in Zimbabwean capital Harare on Tuesday to attend the extraordinary summit of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), scheduled for Wednesday.

So far, Zambian President Edgar Lungu, Lesotho Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili and Tanzanian Vice President Mohamed Gharib Bilal have arrived.

South African President Jacob Zuma is expected in Harare Wednesday a few hours ahead of the summit.

At least 10 heads of state are expected to attend the summit with the remaining five member states will be represented by high-ranking officials.

President Lungu has already met with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe at the State House.

"I am happy to be in Zimbabwe for the first time as a head of state," he told the media after the meeting.

Lungu was elected early this year in a presidential by-election following the death of President Michael Sata late last year.

"We continue to learn from President Robert Mugabe who is an experienced statesman," added the Zambian president.

They are expected to discuss economic integration and industrial development and endorse the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan and the SADC Industrial Strategy, which were adopted by the SADC Council of Ministers on Monday.

The summit is also expected to touch on recent attacks against immigrants, mostly from SADC countries, in South Africa.

The violence began earlier this month in Durban, where mobs descended on the homes and shops of a number of foreign migrants.

The victims were accused of stealing jobs from native South Africans, committing crimes, and putting a burden on the country's social services.

The violence has claimed the lives of seven people and forced scores of migrants from Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and other African countries to leave South Africa.

"President Lungu and his Zimbabwean counterpart discussed at great length issues to do with the xenophobia attacks in South Africa," Amos Chanda, the Zambian presidential media assistant, told the media.

Mugabe is the current chairman of SADC which is comprised of Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Nisan 2015, 09:40