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Exit Nyusi, enters Chakwera SADC Chair

Lilongwe, August 17: The outgoing Chairperson of SADC, President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi of Mozambique said the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has made strides in sustaining development in the region despite the surge of Covid 19 pandemic.

Wishing current SADC Chairperson, President McCarthy Chakwera well, Nyusi said fighting Covid 19, and maintaining peace and security in the region by fighting militias are some of the great assignments that the region has to carry out to achieve meaningful development.

"The coordination and use of the integration process in our region will make us succeed as SADC. Our defense and security forces must work together to combat insurgencies," he said.

In his acceptance speech, President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera said he is delighted to take over the SADC chairmaniship and promised to work towards uniting efforts so that the SADC bloc realizes its missions and goals.

Ironically, eight years ago, Dr. Joyce Banda, former Malawi President took over the SADC chair-ship from former President of Mozambique, Armando Emerio Guebuza.

"I am honoured and humbled to take over the chairmanship from Nyusi. I would like to thank my brother for his leadership when he was SADC Chair.

“I give you all three assurances: my Government's commitment to the ideals, values, and principles of SADC; my best efforts to steer the implementation of the SADC Regional Integration Agenda; and lastly, my enthusiasm to serve you by conducting the affairs of SADC with the determination required of your Chair, an honor I hereby accept with great humility and joy," Chakwera said.

He said it is possible for the SADC region to be Africas food basket using the sound agriculture policies and embracing the African Continental Free Trade Area.

"It is our considered view that the SADC we want is unattainable without leveling the playing field on COVID-19 pandemic, revitalizing the agricultural sector, enhancing value addition, facilitating trade, and simplifying rules of origin.

“The African Continental Free Trade Area has availed SADC the opportunity to become the breadbasket and export basket of Africa. We must fully implement the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Road-map, SADC Regional Agriculture Policy and SADC Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan, among others," Chakwera alluded to.

He added that the region will work as one to end poverty by using policies that truly aim at alleviating poverty.

Added Chakwera: "We must recognize that our truest friends in this world are not those who are satisfied to see us continue in our poverty so that they can sustain their messianic complex as our benefactors and liberators.

“Our truest friends in this world are those who work side by side with us on increasing our productive capacities and turning our economies into engines for sustainable growth."

This year's SADC is being held under the theme, Bolstering Productive Capacities in the Face of COVID-19 Pandemic for Inclusive, Sustainable, Economic and Industrial Transformation.

Speaking earlier, Chairperson of African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat, thanked SADC governments on efforts they are making to advance with the Covid 19 vaccine.

"It is sad that Africa has only vaccinated two percent of its population because of challenges faced to access vaccines," Mahamat said.