The 28th summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) opened on Saturday with launching of the Free Trade Area (FTA) and review of political situation in the region high on the agenda.
FTA will be officially launched on the second day of the two-day summit, marking a historic event that will usher in a new era of economic integration in the region.
The political situation in the region has remained relatively calm although some of the member states are currently facing some challenges in the area of peace and security, namely the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe, SADC said in a recent briefing.
The regional bloc, headquartered SADC in Gaborone, Botswana, was formed in Lusaka, Zambia on April 1, 1980, following the adoption of the Lusaka Declaration.
The member states are Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.