President Lazarus Chakwera has called for united and refocused efforts in the implementation of Southern African Development Community (Sadc) programmes and vision.
The President, who is also Sadc chairperson, said this yesterday when he addressed members of staff of the Sadc Secretariat at the Sadc House in Gaborone, Botswana.
He said more work still remains in fulfilment of the vision laid out by the region’s founding fathers who set out to economically liberate southern Africa.
Chakwera said the region has evolved from being a coordinating conference to being an active regional community focused on development and unity, emphasising on the need for countries in the region to work closely together especially in dealing with challenges arising from crises such as Covid-19.
He said: “I know that making progress on multilateral matters is no easy task these days, as we continue to contend with the effects of the Covid19 pandemic, a complex and ever-shifting enemy.”
Chakwera has since announced the establishment of the Chakwera Prize for Public Speaking which will invite recorded submissions of college students across Africa articulating their innovative ideas for strengthening Pan-African unity.
On his part, Sadc executive secretary Elias Mpedi Magosi reaffirmed the secretariat’s commitment in delivering its responsibilities to maintain the image of Sadc as a credible organisation.
He pledged to continue fulfilling the ultimate objective of sustaining peace and security and also accelerating socio-economic development through deeper integration of member States.
During the meeting, Chakwera was briefed on the mandate, functions and structure of the Sadc Secretariat and division of responsibilities.
He was also taken through the Sadc priorities and the overall status of the regional integration agenda.
On arrival, the President toured the Sadc library named after Tanzania’s founding president Julius Nyerere to appreciate the Sadc history collection. He also unveiled a plaque in honour of his visit, a Sadc tradition when a sitting chairperson visits the Secretariat.