Panafrican News Agency

Malawi hosts 41st SADC Summit

Lilongwe, Malawi (PANA) - Paying attention to the health and wellbeing of their populations, Heads of State and Government in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will hold their 41st Ordinary Summit in the Malawi capital, Lilongwe, on 17-18 August 2021 with a limited number so as to observe COVID-19 protocols.

The SADC secretariat announced on Monday that the opening and closing ceremonies of the Summit will be broadcast live by Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) TV and accessible on DSTV Channel 295.

The summit will be preceded by a Council of Ministers meeting that will be held in hybrid format whereby a limited number of delegates will attend physically, while others will attend via virtual platforms.

The Summit preparatory meetings and events kick off on 12 August with a public lecture under the theme: Promoting Digitalisation for Revival of SADC Industrialisation Agenda in the COVID era. Other meetings concern Standing Committee of Senior Officials and Finance Committee,  and the SADC Organ Troika Summit on 16 August.

During the Summit, Malawi President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera will take over the regional organisation’s chair from President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi of Mozambique who assumed the position on 17 August 2020 during the 40th SADC Summit.

The session will be held under the theme ‘Bolstering Productive Capacities in the Face of COVID-19 Pandemic for Inclusive, Sustainable, Economic and Industrial Transformation’. The theme seeks to accelerate the implementation of the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020–2030, in particular, the Industrialisation and Market Integration pillar.

Heads of State and Government will take stock of progress made in promoting and deepening regional integration in line with SADC’s aspirations as espoused in the RISDP 2020–2030 and Vision 2050, which envisage a peaceful, inclusive, competitive, middle- to high-income industrialised region where all citizens enjoy sustainable economic well-being, justice, and freedom.

Among the key highlights of the 41st SADC Summit, the SADC Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax will bid farewell to the Community leaders after serving for 8 years and a new SADC Executive Secretary will be sworn in. Coincidentally, Dr Tax was sworn in as the SADC Executive Secretary at the 33rd SADC Summit which Malawi last hosted in Lilongwe in August 2013.

SADC is an organisation of 16 Member States established in 1980 as the Southern African Development Coordinating Conference (SADCC) and later in August 1992 transformed into the Southern African Development Community.

The mission of SADC is to promote sustainable and equitable economic growth and socioeconomic development through efficient, productive systems, deeper cooperation and integration, good governance and durable peace and security; so that the region emerges as a competitive and effective player in international relations and the world economy. Member States are Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe

-0- PANA AR 9Aug2021