The Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, H.E. Nandcoomar Bodha led the Mauritius delegation at the 39th SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government which was held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on 17-18 August 2019, under the Chairmanship of H.E. Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania. The Summit was held under the theme “A Conducive Environment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, Increased Intra-regional Trade and Job Creation”.
The Summit reviewed the political and economic situation in the region and deliberated on several issues, including Maritime Security and Piracy, the lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe, the introduction of Kiswahili as the Fourth SADC Official Working Language, the SADC Virtual University of Transformation, amongst others. As the Chair of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS), the Minister briefed Summit on the latest developments regarding the premature release of the prisoners by Somaliland. He also announced that Mauritius would be hosting the third edition of the Ministerial Conference on Maritime Security in 2020. Summit noted the gravity of maritime security threats including piracy, maritime terrorism, drug trafficking and arms trafficking, among others and agreed to jointly address them as part of SADC Maritime Security Strategy.
In the margins of Summit, Minister Bodha signed the SADC Protocol on Industry which has been developed to improve the policy environment for industrial development in the region and supports the implementation of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap.
Minister Bodha also had a meeting with his Mozambican counterpart, H.E Hon. José Condungua Pacheco, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mozambique. They reviewed the status of co-operation following the inaugural session of the Mauritius-Mozambique Joint Permanent Commission of Co-operation which was held in Port Louis on 8-9 August 2019. The need for the establishment of a follow up mechanism to oversee the implementation and monitoring of the Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) in the fields of Tourism, Environment and Investment between the two countries was emphasised.
Minister Bodha also paid a courtesy call on the President of Tanzania, H.E. Dr. Magufuli where he conveyed condolences to the Government and people of Tanzania for the recent fuel tanker explosion that occurred on 10 August in the Eastern part of the country where around 69 people lost their lives. President Magufuli expressed the wish to establish a formal framework of co-peration between the two countries. He indicated that the proposed State Investment Trust (SIT) Sugar Venture project in Tanzania’s sugar sector will help strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries.