Southern African leaders met in the Zimbabwean capital Harare to discuss how to maximize profits from their countries' natural resources.

Heads of state of the 15 countries that make up the Southern African Development Community met on Wednesday at the official opening of a summit.

In his opening speech, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said 70 percent of southern Africa's population lives in poverty. In the meeting, officials presented a strategy to achieve economic growth by exploiting mineral resources through industrialization.

South African President Jacob Zuma recently blamed the political and economic conditions in nearby nations for the influx of immigrants into his country. The recent spate of attacks on foreigners in South Africa was not on the official agenda for discussion. The summit began Monday when cabinet ministers met.