SADC Summit In Tanzania: Calls To Address Food Crisis
The 39th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is underway in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Having kicked off on August 5th the Summit will conclude on August 18th following a two-day meeting of the various Heads of State.
It is the first time Tanzania has hosted the annual meeting in sixteen years, with President John Magufuli set to assume to role of incoming chairperson of the regional body. President Ramaphosa of South Africa is the outgoing chair.
The theme for the summit is ‘A Conducive Environment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, Increased Intra-Regional Trade and Job Creation.’
Among the priority issues tabled for discussion is foods security. According to the Secretariat’s director of food, agriculture and natural resources during the most recent crop season only South Africa and Zambia had enough food. The surplus in these two countries was not sufficient to supply the rest of the region, where poor rains and cyclones hit supplies in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Madagascar and the Comoros hard. Forecasts for the coming months have prompted concern, with a recent SADC report predicting that 2.3 million Zambians will be food insecure by March 2020 due to low rainfall.