The Conference of Ministers is the highest organ of the LTA (see article 24 of the Convention). It consists of one Minister from each of the Contracting States. Ordinary meetings of the Conference of Ministers are typically held once a year and chaired by the host Minister. The Convention provides for extraordinary meetings to be held at any other time decided by the Conference of Ministers.
The major function of the Conference of Ministers is to evaluate the implementation of the Convention regularly. Specifically, the Conference of Ministers has the following missions:
- Consider and adopt protocols to be concluded under Article 34.
- Consider and adopt under Article 35 additional annexes to this Convention.
- Consider and adopt under Article 36 amendments of this Convention and its annexes.
- Consider amendments of any protocol as well as to annexes to a protocol and, if so decided,
- Recommend their adoption to the parties to the protocol concerned.
- Establish whatever subsidiary bodies may be considered necessary for the effective implementation of this Convention.
The first ordinary meeting of the Conference of Ministers took place in April 2007 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. At the end of the first ordinary meeting, the ministers signed the Dar es Salaam Declaration to reaffirm their commitment to support the operations of the Lake Tanganyika Authority. The second ordinary meeting was held in April 2008 in Bujumbura, Burundi, while an extraordinary meeting was organised on December 19 in Bujumbura, the same year with the primary purpose to launch LTA activities.
The third ordinary meeting of the Conference of Ministers was held in August 2009 in Uvira, Democratic Republic of Congo. The fourth one was held in November 2010 in Lusaka, Zambia. The fifth ordinary meeting of the Conference of Ministers took place in February 2012 in Kigoma, Tanzania. At the end of the fifth ordinary meeting, the ministers appended their signatures to the updated SAP document to confirm their respective” governments’ endorsement of the programme
The sixth and seventh ordinary meetings were held in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2013 and 2016 respectively. The eighth Ordinary Meeting was held in the Republic of Zambia in February 2020.