Chakwera challenges SADC Member States to champion good governance and democracy to attract investors

Malawi President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has challenged Southern African Development Community (SADC) Member States to advance and champion good governance and democracy, stressing that these are indispensable to the stability that gives SADC a competitive advantage as a destination for investment, trade, and tourism.

Chakwera made the remarks in his keynote address at the 42nd Ordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government currently under way in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The outgoing SADC Chairperson emphasized the need for SADC countries to entrench democratic values and constitutionality in the region as the SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM), which, he said, successfully conducted its mission in the Republic of Zambia in August 2021 with the joint Organ Troika and SADC Electoral Advisory Council (SEAC).

“In this regard, I wish to congratulate the Government and the people of the Republic of Zambia for holding credible and peaceful elections; elections which upheld SADC democratic principles.

“Similarly, I commend the SEAC Post-Election Reviews conducted for the Republic of Angola, DRC and the Kingdom of Lesotho to assess progress made.

“Such efforts are essential for supporting Member States in strengthening good governance and democracy, which are indispensable to the stability that gives SADC a competitive advantage as a destination for investment, trade, and tourism,” he said.

But Chakwera was quick to point out that for the region to achieve this, the bloc needs to address security issues.

“If a thriving democracy is the software of our region’s stability, then robust security is the hardware of that stability. I am therefore pleased to report that since the deployment of the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) in July 2021, a number of milestones have been achieved.

“These include the recapturing of villages; the dislodging of terrorists from their bases; and the seizure of weapons and warfare material. This has boosted the confidence of the communities our SAMIM forces are there to keep secure, giving them a sense of security and allowing internally displaced persons to return to their normal lives,” he said.

Chakwera stated that during the one year he headed the regional bloc, SADC countries have made significant progress in the advancement of the cause of Regional Integration.

He, however, urged the member states to remain resolute and relentless in their quest towards the fruits of regional integration efforts.

“SADC is open for business, but it is up to us to see that it becomes even more so. SADC is safe, but we must ensure it remains so. SADC is peaceful, but we must keep it so. SADC is attracting global trade and investment, but we must safeguard the factors that will guarantee that it is always so. And SADC is democratic, an example to the world of credible elections and peaceful transitions of power, but we must see that it continues being so,” said the Malawi leader.

Added Chakwera, “But it must be remembered that nothing we do as a SADC Family is haphazard or guesswork. Our blueprint is the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Plan (RISDP) 2020-30 that we adopted in August 2020.

“Following this blueprint ensures that even in the face of such challenges as Covid-19, violent extremism, climate change impacts like cyclones, and geopolitical shocks like the impact of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, our region remains on a growth path of achieving our regional commitments.”

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