The 39th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was held at Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania, on 18th August 2019.

The event was well attended by all Heads of state except Botswana and Mauritius who sent their Ministers for foreign Affairs to represent them. Also in attendance were H.E. Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax, SADC Executive Secretary; H.E. Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank; and H.E. Dr. Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

During the summit Heads of states expressed condolences to His Excellency Dr. President John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, the Government and the people of the United Republic of Tanzania and the families of the deceased following the deadly fuel tanker accident in Morogoro.

H.E. Dr. John Magufuli, officially assumed Chairperson of SADC, and H.E. Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, President of the Republic of Mozambique as Incoming Chairperson of SADC. The Summit also elected H.E. Emmerso Dambudzo Mnangagwa, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe as Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation,.

Summit commended the Outgoing Chairperson of SADC, H.E. Dr. Hage G. Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia, for his exemplary leadership during his tenure.

The adopted theme for 39 SADC Summit is;“A Conducive Environment of Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, Increased Intra-Regional Trade and Job Creation”, which takes forward the SADC industrialization agenda.

Summit noted the overall decline in food production in the Region, for the 2018/19 crop season, and urged Member States to implement comprehensive multi-year response plans to tackle the recurrent droughts and food insecurity to boost agricultural production. The Summit noted progress made on the implementation of the SADC Industrialization Strategy and approved the Protocol on Industry, which aims to promote the development, innovative and globally competitive industrial base.

Summit noted the good progress towards representation of women in politics and economic decision making.

Summit noted the adverse impact on the economy of Zimbabwe and prolonged economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, and expressed solidarity with Zimbabwe, and called for the immediate lifting of the sanctions to facilitate economic recovery.

Most Importantly Summit approved Kiswahili as the Fourth SADC Official Working Language, in recognition of its contribution, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere’s role in the liberation struggle of Southern Africa.