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Southern African leaders meet to discuss how to take advantage of natural resources

  • Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe combs his hair before a photo shoot during  the Southern African Development Community(SADC) Heads of State and Government Extraordinary Summit on Industrialisation in Harare, Wednesday, April, 29, 2015. The summit was called by heads of state in an effort to craft a strategy for industrialisation in the region through value addition and beneficiation of abundant natural resources in Africa. Mugabe, 91, who is the chairperson of the  group officially opened the summit. ( AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

    Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe combs his hair before a photo shoot during the Southern African Development Community(SADC) Heads of State and Government Extraordinary Summit on Industrialisation in Harare, Wednesday, April, 29, 2015. The summit was called by heads of state in an effort to craft a strategy for industrialisation in the region through value addition and beneficiation of abundant natural resources in Africa. Mugabe, 91, who is the chairperson of the group officially opened the summit. ( AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)  (The Associated Press)

  • Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe combs his hair before a photo shoot during  the Southern African Development Community(SADC) Heads of State and Government Extraordinary Summit on Industrialisation in Harare, Wednesday, April, 29, 2015. The summit was called by heads of state in an effort to craft a strategy for industrialisation in the region through value addition and beneficiation of abundant natural resources in Africa. Mugabe, 91, who is the chairperson of the  group officially opened the summit. ( AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

    Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe combs his hair before a photo shoot during the Southern African Development Community(SADC) Heads of State and Government Extraordinary Summit on Industrialisation in Harare, Wednesday, April, 29, 2015. The summit was called by heads of state in an effort to craft a strategy for industrialisation in the region through value addition and beneficiation of abundant natural resources in Africa. Mugabe, 91, who is the chairperson of the group officially opened the summit. ( AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)  (The Associated Press)

  • South African President Jacob Zuma attends the Southern African Development Community(SADC) Heads of State and Government Extraordinary Summit on Industrialisation in Harare, Wednesday, April, 29, 2015.The summit was called by heads of state in an effort to craft a strategy for industrialisation in the region through value addition and beneficiation of abundant natural resources in Africa. ( AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

    South African President Jacob Zuma attends the Southern African Development Community(SADC) Heads of State and Government Extraordinary Summit on Industrialisation in Harare, Wednesday, April, 29, 2015.The summit was called by heads of state in an effort to craft a strategy for industrialisation in the region through value addition and beneficiation of abundant natural resources in Africa. ( AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)  (The Associated Press)

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.