Malawi is happy with the evolvement of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the benefits Malawi derives from being a member.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Francis Kasaila said this Friday morning on the sidelines of the Opening Session of the SADC Council of Ministers Meeting in Swaziland.
Kasaila said SADC had grown leaps and bounds since its founding in 1980 as a loose alliance of nine majority independent States in Southern Africa that included Malawi, Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
“We have evolved from a political organisation with the aim of lessening dependence of the then apartheid South Africa to a regional economic bloc focusing on projects and programmes in the region of USD $400 billion.”
Added Kasaila: “We are now an envy of other regional blocs due to our unity, solidarity, peaceful coexistence, stability and trade and infrastructure focused operations.”
In this regard, the Summit will deliberate and agree on setting up a SADC Regional Development Fund (RDF), which will have an initial capitalization stock of US$120 million, which will be contributed upon by member states, and will be used as a special purpose vehicle for more capitalization from many other players, including the private sector, financial institutions and other donors.
Kasaila said Malawi takes advantage of the meeting to make sure its projects across energy and infrastructure are duly completed.
The meeting was officially opened by the Prime Minister of Swaziland, Dr. Sibusiso Dlamini, who called upon SADC Member States to fully espouse the Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP), as a tool for socio-economic development via project implementation.
“The RISDP is the definitive way forward for SADC, and clearly and clearly the faster industrialization of our countries is a key part of that strategy…”
Dlamini also called on Member States to spare time and discuss ‘adequate resource mobilization of resources to fund the emergency areas of need’ especially in area of food shortages that has hit most SADC countries due to drought.
Speaking earlier, SADC Executive Secretary Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax said SADC is a peaceful and stable bloc. She, therefore, called on Member States to continue to adhere to principles of democracy, good governance and increased levels of socio-economic integration in the quest for sustainable and equitable development and poverty eradication.
The ministers are meeting as precursor to the 36th SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government that will take place, from 30-31 August, 2016, and will see President Dr. Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, of the Republic of Botswana handover the SADC Chairmanship to His Majesty King Mswati III of the Kingdom of Swaziland.
The Summit is being held under the theme ‘Resource Mobilisation for Investment in Sustainable Energy Infrastructure for an Inclusive SADC Industrialization and for the Prosperity of the Region.’
Kasaila who was delegated by President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika to represent him at the Summit and has been joined at the meeting by Malawi’s envoys to Mozambique and Swaziland, Frank Viyazhi, and his counterpart Annie Kumwenda to Zimbabwe who is also responsible for SADC and Botswana.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :