Zambia to host the KAZA TFCA Summit: A Focus on Sustainable Development in Southern Africa

– The summit is expected to attract over 400 delegates, including policymakers, decision-makers, and technical experts from the member states. 

Staff Reporter

Lusaka, Zambia – Zambia takes center stage for conservation efforts in Southern Africa this month as the country prepares to host the Kavango Zambezi Trans-Frontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) Heads of State Summit. 

Scheduled for May 31st, 2024, in Livingstone, the summit brings together leaders from five nations – Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, as stated by Zambia’s Tourism Minister, Rodney Sikumba.  Their aim is to discuss the future of this critical wildlife sanctuary.

The summit’s primary objective, is to assess the progress made  in establishing and developing the KAZA TFCA since its inception. 

This includes reviewing the implementation of the 2006 Memorandum of Understanding that laid the groundwork for the initiative, and the subsequent 2011 KAZA TFCA treaty. 

As Sikumba  said, “The key objective, colleagues, is that we intend to review and track the progress of the memorandum of understanding done in 2016 and obviously its implementation of the KAZA treaty done in 2011.”

 Renewed Commitments, Strategic Priorities

Beyond reviewing past achievements, the summit aims to reignite high-level political commitment from regional leaders towards continued cooperation and integration in developing KAZA further.  

As Sikumba emphasizes, “So what we intend to see out of the Summit is to hear at high level the political commitment to the regional cooperation and integration in the further development of the KAZA now.” 

This collaborative effort, as highlighted by Sikumba, is essential for maximizing the potential of the eco-region.

The theme for the summit, “Leveraging KAZA’s natural capital and cultural heritage resources as catalysts for inclusive socio-economic development of the eco-region,” underscores the commitment to harnessing KAZA’s diverse assets for the benefit of local communities.  

The sustainable management and utilization of the landscape’s natural resources, cultural heritage, and unique wildlife are central to achieving this goal.

The summit is expected to attract over 400 delegates, including policymakers, decision-makers, and technical experts from the member states. 

Additionally, representatives from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), international cooperation partners, non-state actors, and prominent community-based organizations will be present.  

This diverse group, as described by Sikumba, will include “policy and decision makers as well as the technocrats from partner states which includes SADC and representation from International cooperating Partners, non-state actors, and notable Community Based organizations operating in and around their interest in the various landscapes.” 

Their valuable insights and perspectives will contribute to the discussions.

 A Multi-Day Event for Comprehensive Planning

 The KAZA TFCA summit will be preceded by two days of technical deliberations and a ministerial session.  These sessions will provide a platform for in-depth discussions on crucial topics such as strategies for sustainable management and development within the KAZA landscape.

 The summit in Zambia presents a significant opportunity for the member states of the KAZA TFCA to collectively chart a course for the future. 

By fostering stronger regional cooperation, prioritizing sustainable development, and leveraging KAZA’s rich natural and cultural resources, the summit has the potential to create a lasting positive impact for the environment and local communities alike.

Meanwhile a new multi-purpose complex in Hwange will enhance the tourism potential of Hwange National Park – a key destination in the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA).

The project contributes to the KAZA vision of establishing a world-class Transfrontier conservation and tourism destination within the context of sustainable development and is a result of joint efforts through a partnership between the Republic of Zimbabwe and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

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