Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, South African President Jacob Zuma and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete are confident of the leadership of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to be handed over to Malawi at the two-day annual summit in Lilongwe.
SADC’s current vice chairperson Dr Joyce Banda and President of Malawi will take over the chair post when the regional bloc meets this weekend in Lilongwe.
Mugabe, Zuma and Kikwete who arrived in Lilongwe on Friday, all expressed confident and delight that the 14-member economic bloc will be led by President Banda of Malawi.
In interviews monitored by Nyasa Times on state radio MBC, the Presidents said they are happy that a woman of substance is taking the reigns of SADC and offer their full support to President Banda.
They also emphasised the importance of SADC as high on the agenda is facilitating trade between SADC countries and said they will ensure that trade in the SADC regions is going well.
Kikwete told state radio MBC that he was delighted to be in Malawi for the summit as it was essential for regional integration but the issue of the Lake Malawi border dispute was not tackled.
Banda will take over the mantle of chairperson from Mozambican leader Almando Guebuza. She will be at the helm until the next Heads of State and Government summit in 2014.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) as an inter-governmental organization pursues objectives for the furtherance of greater socio-economic cooperation and integration among Southern African states.