President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday returned to South Africa from Windhoek in the Republic of Namibia, where he participated in the 38th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

The Summit took place from 17-18 August 2018 under the theme “Promoting Infrastructure and Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development.”

President Ramaphosa had, prior to attending the 38th SADC Heads of State and Government Summit, joined the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security meeting on 16 August 2018.

The Summit marked the 26th anniversary of the adoption of the SADC Treaty, which was signed on 17 August 1992, and laid the foundation for the formation of SADC.

President Ramaphosa, as the Outgoing Chair of SADC, reported to the Summit the work of the regional body for the duration of South Africa’s tenure guided by its tenure theme, “Partnering with the Private Sector in Developing Industry and Regional Value Chains” from August 2017 to August 2018 g.

President Ramaphosa outlined that during South Africa’s tenure as SADC Chair, $500 million was secured of committed productive investments by South African companies in each of the priority value chains across the region.

The investments cover forestry, agriculture and agro-processing, fertiliser, mining and mineral processing, and pharmaceuticals.

“We therefore need to ensure that we create a conducive environment for business to thrive, and to deepen our engagement with the private sector. Collaboration with the private sector is important not only in designing SADC regional strategies and initiatives, but also in identifying impediments to greater regional economic integration.” President Ramaphosa said.

President Ramaphosa said he was encouraged by strides taken to maintain peace and stability in the SADC region, including the holding of regular, free and fair elections, saying that “the consolidation of democracy and the elevation of the rule of law across the region is a sign of the improved effectiveness of our regional institutions and mechanisms”.

President Ramaphosa has handed the Chairship of SADC to Namibia led by His Excellency President Hage Geingob.

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