Final Communiqué of the SADC Extraordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government to consider the Regional, Economic and Political Integration

1. The SADC Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government was held on 23rd October 2006, at Midrand, South Africa. Summit exchanged views on the scaling-up of the implementation of the regional economic integration, notably the launching of the Free Trade Area (FTA) by 2008, the preparations for the Customs Union by 2010 and SADC's position on the African Union Government. The Extraordinary Summit was chaired by the Right Honourable Pakalitha Mosisili, Chairperson of SADC and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho.

2. Summit was attended by the following Heads of State and Government and representatives:

Botswana H.E. President Festus Mogae
Democratic Republic of CongoH.E. Vice President Azarias Ruberwa
LesothoThe Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili
MadagascarH.E. President Marc Ravalomanana
Malawi H.E. President Bingu wa Mutharika
Mozambique H.E. President Armando Emilio Guebuza
Namibia The Rt Hon. Prime Minister Nahas Angula
South Africa H.E. President Thabo Mbeki
SwazilandHon. Prime Minister Absalom Dlamini
United Republic of TanzaniaHon. Prime Minister Edward Ngoyai Lowassa
Zambia Vice-President H.E. Rupiah Banda
Zimbabwe H.E. President Robert Mugabe
Angola Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Joao Bernardo de Miranda
MauritiusMinister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Cooperation, Hon. Madan M Dulloo

3. The Extraordinary Summit was agreed upon at the Ordinary SADC Summit in August 2006, held in Maseru, the Kingdom of Lesotho. Its purpose was to review the status of regional economic integration and to propose measures to accelerate the implementation of the SADC economic integration agenda, especially the Free Trade Area to be attained in 2008 and a Customs Union in 2010.

4. Summit established a Task Force comprising the Ministers responsible for Finance, Investment and Economic Development, Trade and Industry and the SADC Secretariat to review and propose a roadmap to reach the agreed milestones for the implementation of the SADC integration programme.

5. The Extraordinary Summit considered the report and recommendations from the Task Force, and in particular the following aspects:

  • Status of regional integration
  • Fee Trade Area;
  • Preparation for a Customs Union
  • Macro economic convergence
  • SADC Development Fund and
  • Institutional framework and support to implement the SADC regional economic integration agenda.

6. Summit noted progress made in the attainment of an FTA and concluded that the SADC Free Trade Area programme is on course and that it will be launched as planned by 2008. However, Summit noted that SADC's trade patterns consist mainly of commodities and that there is need to diversify the SADC economies and increase intra-regional trade and growth. In addition, Summit noted that the establishment of the FTA should take cognisance of developmental integration elements such as infrastructure, poverty alleviation and sustainable development.

7. Summit reaffirmed its commitment to the establishment of a SADC Customs Union by 2010 and directed the Ministerial Task Force to undertake and finalise a study, which will evaluate an appropriate model for a SADC Customs Union. In this regard, Summit directed that a road map be developed to facilitate the implementation of the SADC Customs Union programme.

8. Summit recognised the need for complementary instruments and policies to support regional economic integration for achieving high and sustainable economic growth and development in order to eradicate poverty. Summit urged Member States to formulate policies to forge convergence of SADC economies.

9. Summit reaffirmed the need to ensure that the process of deepening integration in SADC should always observe the principle of Member States equity, balanced development and mutual benefit.

10. Summit reaffirmed its commitment to regional economic development and in this regard, underlined the need to mobilise resources in order to address issues of infrastructure, food security and other supply side challenges within the SADC region. Summit noted that it is through the development of supportive infrastructure that the regional trade potential can be harnessed to the benefit of the people of the region. Summit therefore reiterated that the establishment of a Development Fund should be fast tracked.

11. Summit underlined the need to strengthen the SADC Secretariat in order to effectively lead and coordinate the implementation of the SADC integration programmes. In this respect, Summit directed that the Secretariat resources be increased and aligned with the SADC priority programmes, which seek to scale up the implementation of regional economic agenda.

12. Madagascar's tariff phase down offer was accepted and Summit affirmed their support for Madagascar and noted that Madagascar is expected to deposit its instrument of implementation by mid-November 2006.

13. Summit noted the successful conclusion of elections in the Republic of Zambia and congratulated the Government and the People of Zambia on outcome of the elections which were in line with the SADC guidelines on elections.

14. Summit also expressed satisfaction with the manner with which the people and Government of Democratic Republic of Congo conducted themselves during the first round of the Presidential and Parliamentary elections. Summit called for the same political maturity to be maintained during the second round of Presidential elections.

15. Summit took note of the report of the Chairperson of the Ministerial Committee of the Organ on the African Union Government.

16. Summit noted the study on the African Union Government towards the United States of Africa and agreed that the effective establishment of the Union Government will occur when the African Continent attains higher levels of both economic and political integration.

17. Summit expressed its appreciation to the Government and people of South Africa for the warm hospitality and the excellent arrangements made at short notice for the meetings.

Midrand, Republic of South Africa

23 Oct

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa