Felex Share Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe is now ready to host the Extraordinary Summit of sadc Heads of State and Government in Harare next week, with the region’s senior officials starting to arrive tomorrow for meetings, an official has said. Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ambassador Joey Bimha yesterday told The Herald that all was in place for the April 29 event.

“We are on top of the situation and we have been given the funds to run the event,” he said.

“The Extraordinary Summit will be preceded by the meetings of the Standing Committee of Senior officials whose delegates start arriving on Friday (tomorrow).

“Their meetings will be on Saturday and Sunday.”

Ambassador Bimha said the meetings of the Council of Ministers would take place on Monday and Tuesday.

“The preceding meetings will take place at Meikles Hotel while the Heads of State and Government will meet at Rainbow Towers,” he said.

Ambasador Bimha said Government had invited African Union Commission chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa executive secretary Dr Carlos Lopez and COMESA secretary general Dr Sindiso Ngwenya.

“They were invited to attend in light of the fact that we are discussing the issue of industrialisation,” Ambassador Bimha said.

“We expected recommendations made by the Ministerial Taskforce on Regional Economic Integration to be discussed by the Standing Committee of Senior Officials and then make recommendations to the Council of Ministers who will in turn forward them to Summit where we hope the recommendations will be endorsed.”

The sadc Ministerial Taskforce on Regional Economic Integration met in Harare in February and held a series of meetings to reflect on progress and give guidance to expedite the development of a regional industrial strategy.

If the recommendations are endorsed, Ambassador Bimha said, they would see Southern Africa having a comprehensive industrialisation strategy that would deepen the regional bloc’s integration strategy and accelerate poverty eradication.

Regional leaders resolved during the 34th sadc Summit in Victoria Falls in August last year to give impetus to beneficiation and value addition as part of a broader industrialisation strategy.

This saw experts on industrialisation working on an Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap.