Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Zimbabwe to get 5,8 million euro for regional integration


Published on

A digital copy of the Business News 24 (25 June edition). Zimbabwe's premier business news free sheet published by the Zimpapers Newspapers Group (1980) Limited and available every week day from 1530hrs to give a summary of the day's business news.

Published in: Business, News & Politics
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Zimbabwe to get 5,8 million euro for regional integration

  1. 1. News Update as @ 1530 hours, Wednesday 25 June 2014 Feedback: By Rumbidzayi Zinyuke Zimbabwe is set to receive 5,8 mil- lion euro from the European Union through the Common Market for East and Southern Africa as part of efforts to enhance the country’s regional eco- nomicintegration,anofficialsaidtoday. Speaking at the second consultative workshop for the cotton-to-clothing strategy, UN economic corporation attache Ana Pena said the funds will be availed under the Comesa-led Regional IntegrationSupportProgramme(RISP) and the Regional Integration Support Mechanism (RISM). “Regional intergration is the only way for Zimbabwe to develop and we are working with the Ministry of Industry to make sure that the country’s capacity in regional integration is enhanced. “Under RISP-Comesa Zimbabwe will benefit 4,8million euro as part of a pro- gramme to support regional economic integration. An additional 1 million euro will come from the RISM-Comesa for the implementation of the Interim Eco- nomic Partnership Agreement that was signed in 2012,” she said. She said the Ministry of Industry and Commerce was working with Comesa on the implementation of the RISM programme which money would be made available to Zimbabwe as soon as negotiations are complete. Speaking at the same event, African Cotton and Textile Industries Feder- ation executive director Rajeev Arora said active participation in regional integration would increase inflows of foreign direct investment for the coun- try grow the cotton to clothing sector. He said Zimbabwe should, however, not focus on producing cotton only but should increase value addition to grow the value chain. “Africaproducesabout5percentofthe world’s cotton, with over 65 percent of that coming from West Africa of which over 80 percent is exported in raw form. Limited value addition presents a big opportunity for textile investment. There is great opportunity in the Zim- babwean cotton and textile industry only if policies are aligned to the needs of the interested investors,” he said. He said the country is the biggest cot- ton producer in Southern Africa but is exporting the bulk of its cotton raw. Arora added that Zimbabwe should also take advantage of the duty free quota free access into United States for garment exports under AGOA, into EU for textile products through the EPA and regional markets through Comesa, the East African Community (EAC), Economic Community of West Afri- can States (Ecowas), and the South- ern African Development Community (Sadc). Zimbabwe to get 5,8 million euro for regional integration Mr Arora
  2. 2. By Lynn Murahwa Foreign investors have failed to react to Zimbabwe's foreign investment attraction policies as the country's for- eign direct investment figures last year stagnated at $400 million, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Investment (UNCTAD) World Invest- ment Report 2014 shows. The country's investment figures show that FDI figures only doubled in between 2010 and 2011 when the Zimbabwe Investment Authority's One Stop Shop was introduced in 2010, but the figures have leveled since then. The $400 million figure is not the low- est in the region, but pales in signifi- cance when juxtaposed against that of neighbouring countries. The UNCTAD report shows that South Africa received the highest FDI in Sadc at $8,1 billion out of the $13,1 billion that flowed into Sadc, followed by Mozambique with $5,9 billion. Zimbabwe'snorthernneighboursZam- biareceived$1,8billioninFDIlastyear. Speaking at the launch of the World Investment Report 2014 yesterday, United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) economic advisor Amarakoon Bandara said the country required Government commitment in sustaina- ble investment goals. “Investing in sustainable investment goals requires a strategy framework and full commitment from the Gov- ernment” he said. ZIA chairman Nigel Chanakira said once Government has cleared issues surrounding the indig- enisation policy and Special Economic Zone, Zimbabwe will be able to reach $2 billion per annum from next year. “Next year, once Government has clar- ified the Special Economic Zones and the policy on indigenisation, from our projects we should move in the range of the $2 billion mark,” said Chanakira. Chanakira also said inflows as meas- ured by UNCTAD should reach $1 bil- lion starting from this year onwards if the Essar deal becomes operational. According to ZIA, 162 investment pro- jects valued at $400 million have been approved this year so far. Meanwhile, the UNCTAD report also shows that Zimbabwe's FDI outflows stood at $27 million, reflecting limited economic activity in the country. Last week, Invictus Investment Man- agement chief executive Ritesh Anand noted that Zimbabwe is contributing less than one percent of foreign direct investment towards Africa due to low investment levels. “Zimbabwe attracts less than one per- cent of FDI towards Africa, but it is well positioned to attract FDI because of its highly educated population, good infra- structure and vast natural resources,” he said. At a broader level, the report showed that Africa’s FDI inflows increased by 4 percent during the period, sustained by growing intra-Af- rican flows which are in line with the efforts by leaders for deeper regional integration. • 2 NEWS Zimbabwe's FDI inflows stagnate at $400m Mr Chanakira
  3. 3. 3 ENERGY BH24 Reporter Government has re-awarded the Hwange Power Station expansion pro- ject tender to second favourites Sino Hydro. The move raises question over the ten- der processes after China Machinery and Engineering Company (CMEC) - which had initially been awarded the tender - failed to secure funding for the project, which is expected to add 600 mega-watts (MW) onto the national grid . CMEC tendered a bid price of $1,38 bil- lion, while Sino Hydro had tendered a bid price of $1,1 billion. But despite having been awarded the tender in April last year, CMEC has made no headway in accessing funding for the project. Energy and Power Development Minister Dzikamai Mavhaire today announced that the CMEC contract was cancelled last month as the project has stalled. "The tender for the project was awarded to China Machinery and Engi- neering Company (CMEC) of China at an EPC cost of $1,3 billion. "CMEC, however, failed to conclude the contract within the stipulated time frame that they had agreed upon with Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) and the Government of Zimbabwe, hence, the tender was cancelled in May 2014," said the minister. "The Government, through the Minis- try of Energy and Power Development has, therefore, directed that the tender be awarded to Sino Hydro. Sino Hydro were the second highest bidders for the project." The decision by the Government not to re-tender could indicate a need to expedite the commencement of the project, and negotiating a contract with one of the initial bidders is within nor- mal practice. But the question will remain why the tender was given to a company with limited financial capacity in the first place. Sino Hydro now has two power pro- jects on its hands, after it won the bid to expand Kariba Hydro Power Station in November 2012 in a deal worth about $360 million. Implementation of the Kariba South Power Station extension project has since commenced. Zimbabwe is currently facing crippling power shortages with the national power demand at peak periods esti- mated to be in excess of 2 200MW against available generation of about 1 000MW with the shortfall being imported from regional power utili- ties. Installed capacity amounts to 1 960MW. • Sino Hydro to handle two projects after getting Hwange contract Minister Mavhaire
  4. 4. BH24
  5. 5. AdM-DI156506- BH24
  6. 6. 6 NEWS ICSAZ adds new ECG awards category for banks BH24 Reporter The Institute of Chartered Secretar- ies and Administrators in Zimbabwe (ICSAZ) has added a special award category for financial institutions in this year’s Excellence in Corporate Govern- ance Awards. Although the banking sector has dogged by controversies with several banksclosingdownoverthelastcouple of years, a number banks have skated such problems and an assessment of the banks' 2013 financials show some stellar performances. ICSAZ said for financial institutions threeawardswillbegivenout,namely: the Best Bank Risk Management Prac- tices Award, a Best Bank Internal Con- trol Environment Award and an Over- all Best Governed Banking Institution Award. To qualify, financial institutions should have published full annual reports for the 2013 financial year and should be still trading under Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe issued licences on the adju- dication date. Announcing the award categories for this year, ICSAZ chief executive Farai Musamba said the ECG awards are a means of promoting good corporate governance by recognising organisa- tions that exemplify excellence in cor- porate governance. “The awards aim to promote good corporate governance by recognising leadership efforts of corporate boards in practising good corporate govern- ance in their functioning and the imple- mentation of ethical and innovative practices which promote good corpo- rate governance. “They are also intended to encourage corporates to focus on excellence in their corporate governance practices,” he said. Meanwhile, an individual corporate governance award, the Governance Professional of the Year Award, will also be presented for the first time at the awardsceremony,whichwillbeheldon October 9. This is in addition to the corporate gov- ernance awards for companies listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. All Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed companies that have published full annual reports for the 2013 financial year and are still trading on the bourse on the adjudication date are eligible for the ZSE-listed companies awards. •
  7. 7. BH24
  8. 8. ByLynnMurahwa The corporate world and public sector must play a role in achieving the Mil- lennium Development Goals (MDGs) through the construction and develop- ment of relevant infrastructure in the education system Government author- ities have said. Speaking at a beneficiary handover of a newly constructed early childhood development (ECD) building in Avon- dalethismorning,MinistryofEducation actingdeputydirectorofsecondaryand non-formal colleges Valerio Mukova said the ministry is entreating the cor- porate world to aid in the construction of school infrastructure to fulfill MDGs. “We are encouraging the corporate worldandprivatesectortocomeinand assist the construction of good schools and infrastructure to draw us closer to achieving the Millennium Development Goals,” he said. He added that because the current economic atmosphere is not in their favour the ministry recognises that reaching out to the private sector as well as leading by example is the best way to bring the private sector invest- ment on projects. “The best way that we can bring in and engage private investors in such projects is to reach out to the private sector as well as to lead by example. The economy is not on our side so we need everyone to contribute whatever little they have, we will build one brick at a time” he said. Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing architect Max Muzondori said currently there are more than 70 projects to develop the educational infrastructure in Harare. “We have many projects that we are embarking on, right now there are more than 70 projects in the pipeline in Hararetofurtherdevelopinfrastructure in the education sector. • 8 NEWS Private sector necessary in achieving MDGs
  9. 9. BH24
  10. 10. The equities market retreated 0.38 percent as eight counters traded in the red, bringing the industrial index down to close at 189.59 points. SeedCo lost a cent to trade at 70 cents whilePadengaeased0.90centstoclose at8cents.FirstMutualwentdown0.80 cents to close at 5.70 cents and Cottco shed 0.15 cents to 0.8 cents. Tea pro- ducer Ariston and Meikles slipped 0.10 cents to close at 0.70 cents and 21.90 cents respectively. Eight counters also traded positievly. The losses were partially offset by gains in Cafca which added 3 cents to 30 cents while Colcom and NMB both traded a cent higher at 22 cents and 4.50 cents respectively. TA Holdings was up 0.74 cents to close at 7 cents. The mining index was flat at 61.32 points as Bindura, Falgold, Hwange and Riozim maintained previous trad- ing levels. — BH24 Reporter • 10 ZSE REVIEW Equities dip, buck positive trend
  11. 11. In 2008 Zimbabwe recorded for- eign direct investment (FDI) inflows of $52 million, which increased to $105 million in 2009. FDI inflows into the country further increased to $166 million in 2010, and in 2011 they were up to $387 million. Last year FDI inflows to Zimbabwe improved marginally to $400 mil- lion. And the latest United Nations Con- ference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)'s World Investment Report 2014 shows that last year Zimbabwe's investment figures were flat at $400 million. If Zimbabwe is to significantly improve its FDI inflows then the secret to success lies somewhere within these statistics. What did we do right as a country in terms of policies in 2010 that saw those FDI inflow figures dou- bling that period? In 2010 the Gov- ernment made concerted effort to improve the investment climate, firstly by re-structuring of the Zim- babwe Investment Authority (ZIA) and introducing a One Stop Shop. The Government also promulgated an Investment Promotion and Pro- tection Bill It also sought to conclude a number of negotiated Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agree- ments among other initiatives. It is these initiatives that sent positive signals to the foreign investor com- munity, which resulted in positive sentiment on their part. The effect of this was an increase in FDI inflows. Investor confidence is such a key factor in attracting investment, hence one may notice that countries with worse prob- lems than Zimbabwe still appear as attractive prospects to foreign investors. There is definite need for Zimbabwean authorities to put in place polices that are geared toward investment promotion and liberali- sation. Last year global FDI inflows rose by 9 percent, the UNCTAD report has shown. The main rea- son for this rise, UNCTAD says, is a noted rise in polices that pull FDI. "In 2013, according to UNCTAD's count, 59 countries and economies adopted 87 policy measures affect- ing foreign investment. Of these measures, 61 related to liberaliza- tion, promotion and facilitation of investment, while 23 introduced new restrictions or regulations on investment," reads part of the report. Clearly there is a correlation between positive investment attrac- tion policies and the level of FDI that a country can/will attract. UNCTAD offers a number of sugges- tions on how countries can develop effective FDI attraction polices: "Governments should (also) follow a number of good practices: (i) The rationale for investment incentives should derive explicitly from the country's development strategy, and their effectiveness should be fully assessed before adoption. (ii) Incentives for specific industries should aim to ensure self-sustained viability so as to avoid subsidizing non-viable industries at the expense of the economy as a whole. (iv) All incentives should be granted on the basis of pre-determined, objective, clear and transparent criteria..." are among some of the suggestions. Zimbabwe should take heed. • 11 BH24 COMMENT Strong correlation exists between good polices and FDI inflows
  12. 12. BH24
  13. 13. Thousands of South African mine workers returned to the Marikana operations of platinum producer Lonmin (LMI.L) on Wednesday after wage deals were signed on Tuesday to end a five-month strike, the long- est and most damaging in the coun- try's history. The workers, some wrapped in blan- kets to ward off the chill of the winter morning, lined up outside the gates of Marikana's process division. They are to undergo medical and other checks before they descend the shafts to reboot production. Workers also returned to mines operated by Anglo American Platinum (AMSJ.J), which were affected as well by the strike by the Association of Minework- ers and Construction Union (AMCU), a shop steward with the union told Reuters. They were also expected to come back to mines run by Impala Platinum (IMPJ.J). "We are back to work, it's good," said one miner as he walked up a gravel road to take his place in the growing line. It will take months to get back to full production as the process of bring- ing the mines back to life, which will include extensive safety checks, will take some time after the prolonged stoppage, which cost the companies over 24 billion rand ($2.25 billion) in lost revenue. As it embarked on the strike in Jan- uary under the populist battle cry of a "living wage", AMCU had initially demanded that basic wages of min- ers be more than doubled immedi- ately to 12,500 rand a month. In the end, its members settled for increases that amounted to up to around 20 percent annually.($1 = 10.5564 South African Rand) ― Reu- ters • 13 REGIONAL News South Africa miners return to work as five-month platinum strike ends enjoy the CAIO ride!
  14. 14. 14 DIARY OF EVENTS The black arrow indicate level of load shedding across the country. POWER GENERATION STATS Gen Station 25 June 2014 Energy (Megawatts) Hwange 575 MW Kariba 750 MW Harare 45 MW Munyati 31 MW Bulawayo -- MW Imports 170 MW Total 1571 MW 26 June - Pioneer 44th Annual General Meeting of Sharehold- ers, Venue: Pioneer Corporation Africa Limited Boardroom, Corner Hood/Hermes Roads, Southerton, Harare, Time: 10:00 hrs 26 June - Masimba Holdings Limited Thirty-Ninth Annual General Meeting of Mem- bers for the period ended 31 December 2013, Place: 44 Til- bury Road, Willowvale, Harare, Zimbabwe, Time: 12:00 30 June - TA Holdings 79th Annual General Meeting of the ordinary members Venue: Miti Room, Sango Conference Centre, Cresta Lodge, Harare, Time: 1400 hours 30 June - ZIMRE 16th Annual General Meeting of members, Venue: NICOZDIAMOND Audito- rium, 7th Floor Insurance Centre, 30 Samora Machel Avenue, Time: 1230 hours THE BH24 DIARY
  15. 15. BH24
  16. 16. 16 zse ZSE Movers CHANGE Today Price USc SHAKERS Change TODAY Price USc NMBZ 28.57% 4.50 Cottco -15.78% 0.80 Willdale 25.00% 0.10 Ariston -12.50% 0.70 TA 11.82% 7.00 First Mutual -12.30% 5.70 Cafca 11.11% 30.00 Padenga -10.11% 8.00 Colcom 4.76% 22.00 ZPI -5.55% 0.85 Dawn 4.21% 0.99 NicozDiamond -3.84% 1.25 Dairibord 3.00% 10.30 SeedCo -1.40% 70.00 Turnall 0.33% 3.02 Meikles -0.45% 21.90 Indices Index Previous Today Move Change Industrial 190.31 189.59 -0.72 points -0.38% Mining 61.32 61.32 +0.00 points +0.00% Stocks Exchange Previous
  17. 17. 17 AFRICA StockS Botswana 8,664.65 -11.96 -0.14% 12July Cote dIvoire 246.37 +2.18 +0.89% 07Mar Egypt 7,949.60 -75.68 -0.94% 06Mar Ghana 2,356.80 +2.31 +0.10% 20June Kenya 4,825.52 +28.10 +0.59% 20June Malawi 12,662.47 +0.00 +0.00% 07Mar Mauritius 2,074.51 -3.51 -0.17% 07Mar Morocco 9,544.10 +21.01 +0.22% 07Mar Nigeria 41,129.29 +60.36 +0.15% 20June Rwanda 131.27 +0.00 +0.00% 24Oct Tanzania 2,018.97 +25.40 +1.27% 07Mar Tunisia 4,624.39 -39.32 -0.84% 07Mar Uganda 1,503.90 +0.81 +0.05% 10Sep Zambia 4,242.74 +14.95 +0.35% 10April Zimbabwe 187.40 +2.54 +1.37% 20June African stock round up Commodity Prices Name Price Crude Oil 1,300.91 -0.21% Spot Gold USD/oz 1,292.63 -0.26% Spot Silver USD/oz 19.38 -0.46% Spot Platinum USD/oz 1,421.25 -0.33% Spot Palladium USD/oz 798.50 -0.64% LME Copper USD/t 6,770 -0.18% LME Aluminium USD/t 1,780 -1.17% LME Nickel USD/t 18,230 -1.73% LME Lead USD/t 2,095 -1.41% Quote of the day —"Our business in life is not to get ahead of others, but to get ahead of ourselves." ― Zig Ziglar
  18. 18. BH24
  19. 19. Apple Inc. suppliers in China will begin mass production of its largest iPhones ever next month, according to people familiar with the plans, as the smart- phone maker faces increased compe- tition. Apple is ramping up on two bigger devices, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. One model will have a 4.7-inch display, compared to the 4-inch screen of the current iPhone 5s, that may be availa- ble to ship to retailers around Septem- ber, said two of the people. A 5.5-inch version is also being prepared for man- ufacturing and may be available at the same time, the people said. Apple is getting ready for its annual unveiling of new iPhones after rivals including Samsung Electronics Co. and HTC Corp. released smartphones with displays that are as large as 5.7 inches. Consumers have been gravitat- ing toward larger-screen devices -- in China, 40 percent of mobile gadgets based on Google Inc.’s Android operat- ing system that were sold in 2014 had display sizes of more than 5 inches, according to an estimate from For- rester Research. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook is under pressure to reignite Apple’s sales growth and the iPhone, which gener- ates more than half of the company’s annual revenue, remains his chief weapon. Last year, the smartphone produced $91 billion in revenue alone, more than the total sales of Oracle Corp., Yahoo! Inc., Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. combined. Natalie Kerris, a spokeswoman for Cupertino, Califor- nia-based Apple, declined to comment. Rounder, Thinner Apple shares fell less than 1 percent to close at $90.28 in New York, leaving them up 13 percent this year. The new iPhones will also be rounder and thinner than previous models, said one of the people. Production of the 5.5-inch model is more complicated than the smaller version, resulting in lower production efficiency that must be overcome before manufacturing volume can be increased, said the per- son. AppleisdevelopingnewiPhonedesigns including bigger screens with curved glass and enhanced sensors that can detect different levels of pressure, Bloomberg News reported in Novem- ber. Called 2.5-dimension glass, the mate- rial lets manufacturers taper the edges of the screen where the bezel meets the frame of a smartphone. Earlier this month, Apple also intro- duced new features for the software powering the iPhone and iPad in a bid to add more functions and utility to the devices. The company’s new iOS 8 mobile soft- ware has capabilities that enable peo- ple to use the gadgets to monitor their health and remotely control locks and lights for their home. ― Bloomberg • 19 INTERNATIONAL NEWS Apple’s big iPhones said to start production next month
  20. 20. By Kizito Sikuka and Phyllis John- son The vision of southern Africa as an emerging economy with infrastructure that works coast-to-coast will be closer to reality after the regional summit to be hosted by Zimbabwe in August. The momentum is building towards the 34th summit of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) when the leaders of 15 member states will meet in Victoria Falls with Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe chairing. The summit is preceded by a meeting of the Council of Ministers and pre- paratory meetings of officials. A series of key sectoral meetings are already underway. Tourism ministers from the region met recently in Livingstone, Zambia during the airlines Routes conference held at Victoria Falls, and the infrastructure ministers met on 20 June in Harare, Zimbabwe. While these meetings may seem rou- tine, without resonance to a wider community, the summit in Victoria Falls promises to be a milestone for Sadc and a life-changing event for southern Africa. The meeting of infrastructure minis- ters held in Harare and chaired by the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development, Obert Mpofu, was a game-changer for the region. The meeting was opened by the Vice President of Zimbabwe, Joice Mujuru, who told the ministers that adequate infrastructure is the “bedrock of eco- nomic development in any economy”. What’s in it for us who are not in these meetingsandwhyshouldwebeexcited about infrastructure development? The short answer is that infrastructure touches every aspect of our daily lives, including transport, energy, informa- tion technology, water, meteorology and tourism. These sectors impact on our daily lives and how we go about our work and play, in families, in communities and in businesses. The opportunities being unpacked in this sector across a region that stretches from Namibia to Mozam- bique, and from South Africa all the way to the United Republic of Tanzania are almost as endless as the imagina- 20 Analysis Sadc Summit 2014: Building a region coast-to-coast - strategy for economic transformation
  21. 21. 21 Analysis tion.Imaginewhatyoucoulddoifthere was a train from Windhoek to Beira, or from Durban to Dar es Salaam, both throughHarare,ofifyoucouldflydirect to Maputo. Or if the roads were good on those routes, or if the electricity and water worked all the time in all of those places? When the infrastructure works, it lays the basis for other opportunities, such as a uni-visa to ease the movement of visitors across borders, and one-stop border posts to ease the passage of goods -- or a Grand Free Trade Area of 26 countries stretching along the whole of the eastern side of Africa from Egypt to South Africa. Already most Sadc member states have removed visa requirements for their own citizens to move more easily across borders, and more even devel- opment would keep more people and skills at home, while generating a per- spective that anywhere in the region is “home”. What the ministers were doing in Harare, and what the Heads of State and Government will be doing in August, is to set clear plans towards implementation of regional policy with regard to infrastructure and related priorities. The Infrastructure ministers meeting approved the Sadc Declara- tion on Regional Infrastructure Devel- opment to present to the Sadc Council of Ministers and then summit. This fol- lows the Regional Infrastructure Master Plan approved previously. The declaration urges Sadc countries to implement regional agreements and protocols to facilitate development of infrastructure, as well as create the necessary conditions to attract invest- ment and promote industrialisation through strong regional infrastructure projects, while encouraging the partici- pation of the private sector in construc- tion of dams, roads and other facilities. Other key issues include the need to collaborate with international cooperat- ing partners, multilateral financial insti- tutions such as the African Develop- ment Bank, and the private sector and other stakeholders to secure funding fortheSadcinfrastructureprogramme. Particular attention will also be put on the transport needs of landlocked Sadc countries such as Zimbabwe who because of “their geo-political circum- stances have special needs for trans- port and transit services and bear high costs for capacity and access to exter- nal markets.” The new Sadc Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax from Tan- zania, is pleased with progress during her first year in office, but always with her eye on the many targets still to be reached. At least seven priority areas have been identified for implementa- tion this year as southern Africa inten- sifies efforts to deepen integration for socio-economic development. The priority areas were adopted by the Sadc Council of Ministers, which met in March in Lilongwe, Malawi. The minis- ters agreed to intensify efforts towards finalising the review of the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) and consolidation of the Sadc Free Trade Area launched in 2008. Other key priorities are conclusion of negotiations to establish a single market covering 26 countries in east- ern and southern Africa; fast-tracking implementation of the Regional Infra- structure Development Master Plan; strengthening measures to improve food security; and implementation of the HIV and Aids cross-border initia- tives. The seventh priority is on peace building and consolidation of demo- cratic practices in the region. The Sadc Council of Ministers that oversees the functioning and development of Sadc is made up of ministers of Foreign Affairs, Economic Planning or Finance from the 15 Member States. Zimbabwe will also chair Council for the coming year. The theme of the 2014 Summit on 17-18 August is “Sadc Strategy for Economic Transformation: Leverag- ing the Region’s Diverse Resources for Sustainable Economic and Social Development”. Zimbabwe is well prepared for the event and for chairing Sadc for the next year. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs started preparations last year, and the President’s office has estab- lished a National Steering Committee chaired by the Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr. Ray Ndhlukula. The regional economic communi- ties such as Sadc are building blocks towards an African economic commu- nity, and by early next year when Zim- babwe also becomes the chair of the African Union. - •