Tanzania is expected to host the 39th Southern African Development Community (Sadc) summit scheduled for August 17 and 18.
The minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Prof Palamagamba Kabudi, said on Wednesday that during the meeting Tanzania will take over the bloc’s chairmanship.
Chairmanship lasts for a year and is on a rotational basis.
It means from August, President John Magufuli, who currently is Sadc’s vice chairman, will be at the helm of the 16-member regional bloc.
President Magufuli will take over from Dr Hage Geingob, the President of Namibia, who has been serving in the position since last August. “This is a great honour to us as a nation,” Prof Kabudi told reporters.
“The last time we hosted the summit was in 2003 under the chairmanship of former President Benjamin Mkapa,” he said.
The August summit will be preceded by preliminary meetings of ministers and permanent secretaries from Sadc member countries between August 6 and 16.
This summit will also be accompanied by the All Sadc Industrialisation Week, which will take place a few days before the summit commence.
“For a country determined to build an industrial economy like ours, this anniversary is very important,” noted Prof Kabudi.
“We hope that our people will seize this opportunity and participate fully in the anniversary,” he said. Already, a delegation of Sadc secretariat, led by deputy executive secretary (Corporate Affairs) Mr Joseph Nourrice, is in the country to help the government with logistics and preparation of the summit.
“The purpose of our visit here is to accompany Tanzanian government in preparation for the summit,” he said.
In his capacity as Sadc chairman, President Magufuli will be tasked with promoting peace, security and development in the region.