Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eisenhower Mkaka, who is new Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Council of Ministers, says it is time for Malawi and the SADC block to go straight to work to implement plans the summit has adopted for improving the region.
He made the remarks after the closure of the 41st SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government that took place in Lilongwe from August 9 to 19.
Mkaka said he was glad for what he described as a remarkable delivery of the summit by Malawi.
“There were a lot of expectations around, and at the same time, some people doubted our capacity to handle this summit. But we have proven them wrong that Malawi can play regional politics and can do so successfully.
“I am glad that, so far, we have received very positive feedback from the summit council of ministers’ meeting of senior officials and that everybody has left satisfied with the way the meetings have been conducted,” he said.
However, Mkaka said it was now time to go to work and implement the various interventions aimed at developing the region.
He said Malawi’s tenure, which has adopted the theme “Bolstering Productive Capacities in the Face of COVID-19 Pandemic for Inclusive, Sustainable, Economic and Industrial Transformation” will also be building on the last year’s theme.
“Going forward, we will draw programs that will guide us in the realisation of the theme. But it has to be understood that the theme is always long termed.
“We will be working hand in hand with the secretariat to ensure that parameters are drawn and continuous assessment made in order to appreciate the progress being made towards the realisation of set goals,” he said.
Mkaka added that he was glad that the taxpayers’ money has been diligently used during the summit, and that soon, a financial statement will be published for the public to appreciate how the money has been used.
In his remarks, Minister of Information, Gospel Kazako, said the SADC summit was a success, did not face any hitches and went according to plan.
“President Chakwera is now SADC Chairperson and that is news every Malawian must cerebrate.
“His chairmanship gives an advantage to Malawi, but also to the rest of the countries because we know the capabilities of our president.
“The countries will benefit from quality leadership as he is someone who is well exposed, aware and well-cut for this kind of responsibility,” said Kazako.
He then commended Malawians for what he described as a warm-welcoming rendered to the visitors.
Some of the highlights of the summit include the assuming of office by President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, as SADC Chairman of Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation.
Elias Mpedi Magosi of Botswana was also endorsed as the new SADC Executive Secretary, taking over from Stergomena Lawrence Tax who served in the capacity for eight years.
During the closing ceremony, member states also signed legal documents that have been discussed and adopted for implementation in various areas like energy.
15 out of the 16 member states attended the meeting.