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SADC Leaders Resolve to Tackle Regional Hunger, Poverty

A large number of people staged protests in the run-up to the SADC Summit urging leaders to take care of their interests. (Photo: Courtesy Image)

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has endorsed a Regional Food and Nutrition Security Strategy for 2015 to 2025 to ensure improved food availability, accessibility and utilisation in a more sustainable manner.

According to a communique issued after the end of the summit, the endorsement came after the leaders reviewed regional food and nutrition security and noted increases in food production during the 2013-2014 growing season.

However, the leaders noted that humanitarian assistance and malnutrition still remain a challenge.

The SADC leaders also resolved that industrialization should take centre stage in the bloc’s regional integration agenda. They mandated the Ministerial Task Force on Regional Economic Integration to develop a strategy and roadmap for industrialization in the region.

At the same time, the leaders noted progress on the status of women’s representation in politics and decision-making and urged member states to put in place effective legislation, policies and strategies necessary to sustain the achievements recorded so far.

Political analyst Nkululeko Sibanda of Huddersfield University said the SADC leaders’ agenda is likely to be affected by lack of funds as the region seeks $500 billion to implement an ambitious Infrastructure Development Master Plan.

President Armando Emilio Guebuza of Mozambique and President Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia officially announced at the end of the summit that they will soon be leaving office as their presidential terms are coming to an end.