- DRC president makes the vow as he accepts chairmanship of the Southern African Development Community at a meeting in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo ...
Dar es Salaam. Outgoing Southern African Development Community (Sadc) chairman and Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera has called upon member states to guard resources within the 16-member bloc so they can be used to better living conditions of residents in the area.
Speaking during the 42nd Ordinary Summit of the Sadc Heads of State and Government that was broadcast live by various media outlets from Kinshasa in the DRC, Dr Chakwera said Africa will be built by Africans hence the need to improve systems that were involved with the protection of the continent’s resources.
He said instead of leaving the resources to be easily taken by foreigners, Africans need to ensure that whoever comes to exploit them was actually someone who buys the resources on conditions that make sense to residents on the continent.
This year’s summit coincides with the 30th anniversary of Sadc’s establishment on August 17, 1992 and will be held under the theme: “Promoting industrialisation through agro-processing, mineral beneficiation and regional value chains for inclusive and resilient economic growth.”
It is part of Sadc’s strategy to help member country economies diversify from dependence on primary commodities to higher-value manufactured products.
Discussions at the summit will also centre on progress in implementation of Sadc’s plan to further deepen southern Africa regional integration in industrial development and market integration by 2030.
During the meeting, Dr Chakwera handed over the Sadc chairmanship to his DRC counterpart Felix Tshisekedi.
In his chairmanship acceptance remarks, Mr Tsishekedi said during his tenure, he will ensure that Sadc implements programmes that will foster investments in the bloc.
“Our targets 2030 as Sadc put emphasis on industrialisation. During my days as chairman, I will ensure that we foster that goal and especially by utilizing our agricultural products to build an industrial economy,” he said.
Apart from Dr Chakwera and Mr Tsishekedi, other Sadc leaders taking part in the meeting include Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan, Presidents Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Wavel Ramkalawan of Seychelles, Hage Geingob of Namibia, Philippe Nyusi of Mozambique and Emerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe.
Botswana’s Vice President Ponatshego Kedikilwe and Angola’s Foreign Minister Tete Antonio also arrived in Kinshasa to represent their heads of state.