Malawi is on course to host the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit scheduled for next week.
President Lazarus Chakwera on Friday received an update from his vice President, Saulos Klaus Chilima, on the state of Malawi’s readiness to host the 41st Ordinary Summit for SADC Heads of State and Government.
The Summit, with all the preparations done to a hilt, is set to commence in the Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe on Monday.
On his return from London last week, where he went to attend the Global Education Summit, President Chakwera delegated the task force to evaluate the quality and extent of preparations made by the Malawi-SADC National Planning Committee led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Vice President.
Said Chakwera: “Lilongwe is our nation’s capital, which means it is our nation’s living room. The economic and diplomatic gains that will come from this event in a long term are so many, but we need to invest in the preparations.
Even private businesses need to invest in their preparations. I am therefore delegating the Vice President to assist the Chair of the Malawi-SADC National Planning Committee in ensuring that any loose ends are tied off and any final touches are done in a manner we can all be proud of.”
Upon submission of the readiness report by the flamboyant Veep, the Foreign affairs minister Eisenhower Mkaka briefed the president on the protocols that will come into play upon his assumption of the position of Chair of SADC.
The brief covered both the chairship responsibilities the President will take on as well as those to be taken on by other offices of the Malawi Government, as well as the salient issues that Malawi will be expected to tackle in that capacity.
On both counts, the president expressed both gratitude and satisfaction with the readiness of Malawi to meet its obligations as host of the 41st SADC Summit and as Chair of the 16-member economic block.
Countries under the SADC membership includes; Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Chilima, who was ordered last Sunday by President Lazarus Chakwera to inspect the works told the president that he was impressed with the work that the committee has done.
Poverty and underdevelopment remain daunting challenges for social and human development in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. Approximately half of the population lives below the international poverty line of US $1 per day, according to the International Council on Social Welfare.
Poverty in SADC is made worse by several factors, which include; High levels of disease, in particular HIV and AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis; Social and civil conflict, natural disasters, such as recurrent droughts and floods that reduce food security; unemployment; and low industrial growth and productivity, which is reinforced by high levels of migration of skilled labour out of the region
President Lazarus Chakwera was earlier this year elected by SADC member States as the one to take over Chairperson Slot in August 2021 after Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi who started his one year tenure on Monday taking over from President John Magufuli of Tanzania.
At the 40th ordinary summit held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic and hosted by Mozambique, the 16-member regional block settled for Malawi to host the 41st ordinary SADC summit for Heads of State in August 2021 where Chakwera will assume the chairperson role.
It will be the third time in 20 years for Malawi to host SADC Heads of State and Government Summit.
In 2001, then president Dr Bakili Muluzi assumed the SADC chairmanship as did former president Joyce Banda in August 2013.
Chakwera, who attended the SADC summit for the first time as Head of State following his victory in the June 23 2020 fresh presidential elections, said the development symbolises the level of confidence the regional bloc has in the new leadership of Malawi.
President Chakwera said he will make use of the SADC chairmanship toward the advancement of the region’s integration agenda as the community moves towards the SADC agenda 2050 and the post-2020 SADC agenda, which has already been adopted.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) was established as a development coordinating conference (SADCC) in 1980 and transformed into a development community in 1992.
Established on April 1st 1980, SADCC was the precursor of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) – as the SADCC was transformed into the SADC on 17 August 1992 in Windhoek, Namibia where the SADC Treaty was adopted, redefining the basis of cooperation among Member States from a loose association into a legally binding arrangement.
SADC is an inter-governmental organisation whose goal is to promote sustainable and equitable economic growth and socio-economic development through efficient productive systems, deeper co-operation and integration, good governance and durable peace and security among fifteen Southern African Member States.
SADC’s mandate is to promote Investment, Efficiency, and Competitiveness in the global economy and to improve the quality of lives of the region’s population. These goals can only be achieved by fostering educated, skilled, healthy, and productive ‘human resources’.
Although the SADC region has made significant progress related to social and human development over the last decade, there are a number of major challenges that still need to be addressed.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :