By Nevson Mpofu
SADC’s five countries Mozambique, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana are at it to discuss vital issues of concern for the people of Southern Africa. The three-day conference which started on 18 August in Maputo is ending on 20 August.
The theme of the summit is titled Towards a People Centered Post Covid-19 Recovery Plan for SADC. Boaventura Monjane is the organizing committee member and Janet Zhou , a Zimbabwean who is Secretary General of Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network [SAPSN] is leading with voices of demanding a people centered post covid-19 recovery . She is also the Director of ZIMCODD [Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development]
The conference stands by the people of the Region to address inequalities between men and women and the rich and poor. The gap of in-equalities continues to widen in this time of covid-19 in the Region. Janet Zhou’s eulogy flows through communication posted to media days before the conference This came as an invite to attend the virtual symposium.
”We therefore appeal to Governments in the SADC Region to institute emergent measures towards elimination of covid-19. We go deeper as well in addressing how best we can alleviate poverty and vulnerability which is increasing in the Region.
”There are gaps created by increase of in-equalities between men and women, the rich and the poor in this Region. That is what we have to talk about with various social movements. Countries must move towards equitable sustainable development meant to address poverty amicably in an equal society.’
‘’Governments in the region must put in place emergency measures to find lasting solutions to challenges which are widening gaps between the rich and the poor. This comes at a time we are facing civid-19 . It therefore gives us the punch to make Governments accountable and transparent so that people’s problems at large are quickly addressed.’’
There are several Social Movement Leaders from the 5 countries. There are also a big number of panelists who have made strong effort to stand for the truth and save the people in their respective countries from where they are from. The conference started on Tuesday 18 August starting with feed-back from the Consultative Solidarity Assembly with the Solidarity message for a United SADC against in-equalities, closing in-equality gaps, alleviating poverty and coming up with emergency solutions.
The 2nd day, 19 August looked at Thematic Assemblies and side events. It also took on SADC Universities Public Speaking Championships and Lastly the Cultural Festival Show-Case in the evening. The last day 20 August is the Launch of 2020 SADC People’s Summit Declaration. It was followed by feedbacks. After that came the adoption of Summit Declaration and plan of Action. A Press Conference closed the symposium.