The President Cde Robert Mugabe left Harare for Pretoria, South Africa for the 37th ordinary summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
He was seen off by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, several cabinet ministers, senior government officials and services chiefs.
Other ministers including, Foreign Affairs Minister Cde Simbarashe Mmbengegwi travelled ahead of the President to take part in the executive council meeting held from yesterday and ends today.
The 37th SADC Summit is being held under the theme, “Partnering the Private Sector in Developing Industry and Regional Value-Chains”.
The theme of the summit is a continuation of the work that was done by three previous summits, namely the Victoria Summit in Zimbabwe (2014) which was held under the theme, “Economic Transformation and Sustainable Development Through Beneficiation and Value Addition”, and the one held in Botswana under the banner ‘”Transformation of Natural Endowment and Improved Human Capital”.
The 3rd summit last year in Ezulwini, Swaziland was held under the theme, “Resource Mobilisation for Investment in Sustainable Energy Infrastructure”.
The Pretoria summit will focus on how the private sector can be brought on board to drive forward the industrialisation agenda of Southern Africa.
Public private partnerships are regarded as a viable model for attracting investment for public projects by allowing governments to have more access to additional capital and off balance sheet financing.
The summit is also expected to receive a report on the development of an implementation plan and roadmap on the conclusions of the strategic ministerial retreat on the SADC we want that was held in March.
The SADC Summit in South Africa will also consider a progress report the SADC resource mobilisation framework, alternative sources of funding to determine how fiscal space could be created to enable SADC member states to finance regional programmes, projects and activities.
Food security and agriculture remains a top priority for the SADC region and the summit is expected to focus on measures to improve food security.
In this regard the regional grouping is expected to explore ways of improving food security and how to strengthen regional agricultural policy that aims to improve production.
South African president, Jacob Zuma is expected to assume the chairmanship of the organisation from Swazi King Mswati the 3rd.
The summit is responsible for the overall policy direction and control of making it the supreme policy making institution of SADC.