The 41st Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Ordinary Summit started in Lilongwe on Monday, with Mozambique handing over the Sadc Standing Committee of Senior Officials chairpersonship to Malawi.
Secretary for Foreign Affairs Luckie Sikwese is now the new Chairperson of the Sadc Standing Committee of Senior Officials, taking over from Carlos Rodrigues Da Costa of Mozambique.
Sadc Standing Committee of Senior Officials precedes upcoming meetings of the Sadc Council of Ministers slated for August 13 and 14 and the 41st Ordinary Summit of the Sadc Heads of State and Government, which will be held from August 17 to 18.
Speaking during the handover ceremony, outgoing chairperson Da Costa hailed members of the committee for the support rendered to him over the past 12 months.
On his part, Sikwese said the main role of the meeting of the Sadc Standing Committee of Senior Officials is to prepare fully the work to be considered and adopted by the Sadc Council of Ministers.
“As we are all aware, Sadc is making great strides in many areas of regional economic cooperation and integration under the frameworks of the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020-2030 and Sadc’s Vision 2050 that aims at having a peaceful, inclusive, competitive, middle to high income industrialised region, where all citizens enjoy sustainable economic well-being, justice, and freedom by 2050.
“The Government of Malawi is, therefore, committed to working tirelessly with you all in the realisation of the goals and objectives of the RISDP 2020- 30 and Sadc Vision 2050 thereby translating the aspirations of our fore fathers into realities,” Sikwese said.
The 41st Ordinary Sadc Summit will be held under the theme ‘Bolstering Productive Capacities in the Face of Covid Pandemic for Inclusive, Sustainable, Economic and Industrial Transformation’.
The Theme seeks to accelerate the implementation of the Sadc Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan 2020–2030; in particular, the Industrialisation and Market Integration pillar.
During the 41st Summit, Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera will take over the chairpersonship of the regional grouping from President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique.
The Summit 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 envisages a peaceful, inclusive, and industrialised region, where all citizens enjoy sustainable economic well-being, justice and freedom.
Among the key highlights of the 41st Sadc Summit, the Executive Secretary of Sadc, Her Excellency Stergomena Lawrence Tax, will bid farewell to Sadc Heads of State and Government after serving for eight years and a new Sadc Executive Secretary will be sworn in.
Coincidentally, Tax was sworn in as Sadc Executive Secretary at the 33rd Sadc Summit, which Malawi last hosted in Lilongwe in August, 2013.