The Southern African Development Committee (SADC) has expressed optimism and hope that the Covid-19 pandemic will soon be overcome as Africa’s economy has been shattered and needs reparation.
Malawi’s leader Dr Lazarus Chakwera met fellow heads of state leaders for the first time since assuming the presidency of the country.
In his maiden speech at the 40th SADC Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government, Chakwera said one of the
ways of promoting development and resilience in the region is to turn the late former Tanzanian president Benjamin
Mkapa’s dream of regional economic integration into reality.
“For us as Malawians, we feel this undeniable bond whenever we travel beyond our borders, which is why I have never
accepted that Malawi is land-locked, but rather land-linked, for we are inextricably linked to our SADC brothers on all sides, and I can assure you that we would not have it any other way.
“All of us as Sub-Saharan African nations feel this brotherhood that binds us very deeply, for it is a brotherhood that predates our colonial borders and transcends our individual statehood. What remains is for us to resolve once and for all to give this
brotherhood its fullest expression in the areas of economics and development.
“I believe that the combination of strengths and shared values between us in this present moment represents a unique opportunity to achieve this within the next few years, an opportunity worth seizing. I also believe that it is a divine opportunity, for it is by the Providence of God that we are bound to one another by history, culture, and a shared journey of liberation,” Chakwera said.
Statistics shows intra-SADC trade flows which stood at 19.3 percent in 2018, were significantly less compared to other regions.
During the meeting, President of Mozambique Filipe Nyusi, became the new chairperson of the regional block, taking over from Tanzania’s John Magufuli.
Nyusi vowed to drive SADC in the right direction based on its outlined plans. Speaking when handing over the Chairmanship, Magufuli outlined positives and challenges the region is facing, among them COVID-19, stressing there is need for the region to work together to curb the pandemic.
Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax, SADC executive secretary in her speech said the COVID-19 pandemic, though devastating
will not overshadow the bloc’s achievements.
“In implementing the recommendations, priority will be placed on measures to combat terrorism, violent attacks, and cyber
crime; address adverse effects of climate change; and mitigate external interference, impact of fake news and abuse of social media, especially in electoral processes.
“The Region also continued to consolidate democracy as evidenced by the transparent and peaceful elections held in several
countries since your last Summit in August2019. To this end, allow me to congratulate the Republics of Botswana, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, and Namibia, for conducting peaceful elections,” Tax observed.
SADC is a Regional Economic Community comprising 16 Member States; Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic
of Congo , Eswatini , Lesotho , Madagascar , Malawi , Mauritius , Mozambique , Namibia, Seychelles , South Africa , Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe . Established in 1992, SADC committed to Regional Integration and poverty eradication within Southern Africa through economic development and ensuring peace and security .