INTERNATIONAL – Leaders of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) meeting in Tanzania have agreed to address rising security threats facing the region, including terrorism, said a communique issued on Sunday.
The communique released at the end of the 39th Ordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam, said the leaders resolved to address the gravity of security threats, especially of terrorism activities and transnational crime.
The leaders from the 16 member states of SADC urged the bloc to prioritize the implementation of the SADC regional counter-terrorism strategy and its action plan, said the communique.
They also agreed to jointly address maritime security threats such as piracy and maritime terrorism, drug trafficking and illegal carrying and trafficking of weapons, said the communique and announced by SADC executive secretary Stergomena Tax.
"The leaders agreed to jointly address these security threats as part of the SADC maritime security strategy," said Tax.
The communique added that the leaders urged SADC member states to implement comprehensive response plans to tackle the recurrent drought and food insecurity in the region.
The leaders observed an overall decline in food production in the region during 2018-2019 crop season, said the communique issued after the two-day summit.
The leaders noted with great concern the slow growth in the intra-SADC trade levels, saying the region continued to export unprocessed raw materials to the rest of the world, forfeiting the potential benefits of the resource endowments.
"To this effect, the leaders agreed to accelerate the implementation of the industrialization strategy," said the communique. The 39th summit is held under the theme "A Conducive Environment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, Increased Intra-Trade, and Job Creation."