President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, who is current SADC Chairperson, has called for united and refocused efforts in the implementation of SADC programmes and vision.
He said this on Monday when he addressed members of staff of the SADC Secretariat at the SADC House in Gaborone, Botswana.
Chakwera said much work still remains in the fulfillment of the vision casted by the region’s founding fathers, which was to economically liberate Southern Africa.
He said the region has evolved from being a coordinating conference to being an active regional community focused on development and unity.
Chakwera said the grouping also, from the beginning, emphasised on the need for countries in the region to work closely together, especially in dealing with challenges arising from crises like COVID-19.
“I know that making progress on multilateral matters is no easy task these days, as we continue to contend with the effects of COVID-19 pandemic, a complex and ever-shifting enemy.
“But the complexity and longevity of the pandemic has also highlighted our interconnectedness and our need to work together more, not less,” said Chakwera.
According to Chakwera, the chosen theme of the 41st SADC Summit of “Bolstering Productive Capacities in the Face of COVID-19 Pandemic for Inclusive, Sustainable Economic and Industrial Transformation” resonates well with the SADC vision and agenda.
He said the SADC vision and agenda will take forward the implementation of its Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap for 2015 to 2063, and also the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020 to 2030.
The Malawi Leader has since called for renewed efforts focusing on consolidating the SADC community by leveraging areas of excellence and implementing priorities.
“Our task is simple, but not easy. Our task is to increase regional integration and development. Our task is to become a united front against the common enemies of poverty, cross-border crime, terrorism, civil conflict, climate change, natural disasters, unemployment, and the pandemics.
“Our task is to strengthen regional ties between member states to withstand and diffuse new and emerging threats against our security, prosperity, liberty, and dignity. Our task is to insist to all our partners that the SADC we want is a SADC that was once safe, rich, free, and good,” he explained.
The SADC Chairperson has also challenged his Executive Secretary, Elias Mpedi Magosi, to ensure that regional programs are not just strategically aligned with national policies and strategies, but also with continental and global development processes such as the African Union Agenda 2063 and the United Nations Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.
He then took a chance to pledge his support work hard in addressing institutional and political obstacles in the path of the region’s journey towards economic
integration among other critical issues.
Chakwera has since announced the establishment of the Chakwera Prize for Public Speaking, which will invite recorded submissions of college students across Africa articulating their innovative ideas for strengthening Pan-African unity.
On his part, SADC Executive Secretary, Magosi, reaffirmed the Secretariat’s commitment in delivering its responsibilities in order to maintain the image of SADC as a credible organisation.
Magosi then pledged to continue fulfilling the SADC ultimate objective of sustaining peace and security and also accelerating socio-economic development through deeper integration of member states.
During the meeting, Chakwera was briefed on the mandate, functions and structure of the SADC Secretariat and division of responsibilities.
He was also taken through the SADC priorities and the overall status of the regional integration agenda.
Upon arrival, the president toured the SADC library named after Tanzania’s first President, Julius Nyerere, to appreciate the SADC history collection.
He also unveiled a placard in honour of his visit, a SADC tradition done during a visit by a sitting chairperson to the Secretariat.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :