|August 16, 2010
SADC summit starts as body marks 30 Years
Namibia's president opened a regional summit today calling on leaders to cement the democratic gains made since the Southern African Development Community was created 30 years ago. "Our region has established a strong democratic culture in which political transition is regularly achieved through the ballot box," Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba said at the opening. "As a result, our region has continued to enjoy peace and stability which are prerequisites for sustained economic growth."
The summit's official agenda centres on increasing economic cooperation among the bloc's 15 members, mainly on overcoming delays on a customs union meant to start in 2010. The countries’ statesmen will also consider plans to merge the region's free trade area with two other African blocs - the East African Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.