Mkaka takes over Sadc ‘Council of Ministers’ chairmanship

Eisenhower Mkaka, Malawi’s foreign affairs and international cooperation minister, on Friday August 13, 2021, on behalf of the country assumed the role of chairman of Southern Africa Development Community’s (Sadc) council of ministers at the ongoing 41st Ordinary Summit of Sadc Heads of State and Government in the capital Lilongwe.

The summit has pooled together 400 delegates who are attending the goings-on either physically or virtually.

The minister, who is also secretary general for the governing Malawi Congress Party (MCP), took over from Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Mozambique, Verónica Nataniel Macamo Dlhovo, who led the Council for the past twelve months.

Mkaka in his acceptance remarks highlighted that he was taking over at a time the region and the entire world was reeling with the effects of Covid-19 currently ravaging economies.

“I will rely on the member states’ support,” Mkaka said at the Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) where the Council is having closed door meetings to set the agenda for next week’s meeting of heads of state and governments, where president Lazarus Chakwera will assume the Sadc chairmanship.

Malawi ministers captured during the official opening of SADC Council of Ministers meeting-pic by Lisa Kadango

Meanwhile, Nyasa Times has learnt that at least eight heads of State and Government have confirmed of their attendance to the summit, according to Secretary for Foreign Affairs Luckie Sikwese.

“We are working diligently towards a successful summit. It is our opportunity and we want to show that Malawi deserves to host such events. About eight heads of State, vice presidents and a prime minister will attend the meeting,” he said.

Some of the heads of State that have confirmed their attendance are South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa, Tanzania’s Samia Suluhu, Mozambique’s Fillipe Nyusi and Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Sikwese said, after the summit, Malawi would be hosting international conferences during its one year tenure of office as Sadc chairperson.

Malawi National Planning Commission executive director, Thomas Munthali, has lauded the government for hosting the summit in a year the country launched the long-term development blueprint Malawi (Mw) 2063.

“We have to harness regional integration opportunities in support of operationalising our wealth-creation and self-reliance vision within the context of the Sadc 2050 Vision, which, among other areas, focuses on industrialisation,” Munthali said.

He hoped that the country would also promote pillars such as agricultural productivity and commercialisation, industrialisation and urbanisation, as espoused in Mw2063

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