The 40th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is expected to take place virtually on 17 August, 2020 at the State House in Chamwino, Dodoma, Tanzania.

Speaking to reporters in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania, Ambassador, Brigadier General, Wilbert Ibuge said that the meeting of Heads of State and Government will be preceded by meetings of the SADC Standing Committee of Senior Officials and Council of Ministers meeting to be held virtually from 10-13 August, 2020 in Dar es Salaam.

"In accordance with the SADC rules and procedures, the chairmanship is held by member states in rotation for one year. Tanzania has been in the chair since August, 2019. This was second time for Tanzania to serve in that capacity, the first time was in 2003.

He added that, His Excellency Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania and current Chairman of SADC, will hand over the Chairmanship to His Excellency Philipe Jacinto Nyusi, President of the Republic of Mozambique on 17 August, 2020 in Dodoma through the Video Conference.

Ambassador Ibuge added that, since Kiswahili is currently one of the official languages ​​of the SADC summit, the language will be used at the Ministerial and at the Heads of State and Government level meetings.

In addition, the Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Ibuge said that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the guidelines provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) on holding face-to-face meetings, the United Republic of Tanzania will have to hand over the chairmanship virtually. The High Commissioner of Mozambique to Tanzania will be handed over the chairmanship on behalf of his country. Similarly, the Tanzanian High Commissioner to Mozambique will hand over the Chairmanship to the Government of the Republic of Mozambique on behalf of the United Republic of Tanzania.

In another development, Ambassador Ibuge said that the conference will be guided by the theme that is "40 Years Building Peace and Security, and Promoting Development and Resilience in the Face of Global Challenges" in which the slogan should be implemented by all Member States.

The summit is expected to bring together Heads of State and Government from 16 SADC member states in their respective countries. Those countries are the United Republic of Tanzania, the Republic of Angola, the Republic of Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Union of the Comoros Islands, the Kingdom of Swaziland, the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Republic of Namibia, the Republic of the Seychelles, the Republic of Africa South, Republic of Malawi, Republic of Mozambique, Republic of Mauritius, Republic of Madagascar and Republic of Zambia, Republic of Zimbabwe.

This year’s SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government is being held when SADC is commemorating its 40th Anniversary since its establishment as the Southern African Development Conference (SADCC) on 1 April 1980 before it was later, in August 1992, transformed into the Southern African Development Community (SADC) through the signing of the Declaration and Treaty.