President Lazarus Chakwera has taken over the mantle of the SADC leadership from his Mozambican counterpart Filipe Jacinto Nyusi.
In his acceptance speech, at the 41st Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government in Lilongwe, Chakwera has dared the regional bloc and Africa in general to push for total recognition in all global affairs.
The new SADC chair is inspiring member states to devise strategies of decisively resolving socio-economic woes affecting the region.
Addressing the Summit, Chakwera observed that the regional bloc has the capacity to contain the prevailing challenges that are affecting the region.
He cited the Covid-19 pandemic which he admitted has greatly disturbed the socio-economic status of SADC member countries.
Chakwera has stressed that Africa must not accept to be treated as second-class citizens in the distribution and supply of Covid 19 vaccines as well as in global decision making.
“Treating African nations and nationals as second-class members of the global community is no longer acceptable. We do not accept it. We will not accept it. We cannot accept it,” emphasized Chakwera.
The new Chair for the regional bloc then stressed the need for the leaders to seriously and comprehensively discuss and agree on the best solutions to fighting the pandemic.
Chakwera’s chairmanship is also coming in at a time the whole continent is going through a recession owing to the Covid Pandemic.
As the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Vera Songwe stated during her address to the summit, the developing world, the SADC inclusive would require about 345 billion dollars to be able to attain its recommended levels of growth that it had before the pandemic.
However, while acknowledging the pandemic’s induced challenges, Chakwera is remaining optimistic and has given an assurance of hope.
“ In assuming the SADC Chairmanship, Malawi commits to ensuring that we push our Regional goals as we represent the Southern African Group at the AU Peace and Security Council, UN Human Rights Council and provide leadership at the UN Least Developed Countries (LDCs),” assures the new SADC Chairman.
In his parting statement, Nyusi recommends massive testing, greater coordination in enforcement of epidemiological control measures, accelerating acquisition of vaccines and expansion of immunisation programs.
The outgoing SADC Chair, further recommends the bloc to appeal to the international community for financial support and debt relief.