Vice-President Saulos Chilima has expressed satisfaction with preparations for the 41st Ordinary Summit of Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Heads of State and Government that Malawi is set to host from next week.
The Vice-President, who is also Minister for Economic Planning and Development; and Public Sector Reforms, expressed the sentiments when he inspected various Sadc Summit preparatory works currently underway in Lilongwe.
The inspection tour follows President Lazarus Chakwera’s order on Sunday that his number two should help lead the preparations to ensure it is done on time.
In an interview after yesterday’s tour, Chilima urged the committee not to relax, but to work around the clock considering that delegates will start arriving next Monday.
He said: “Malawi should regard the hosting of the summit and the assuming of the Sadc chairmanship as a one-time opportunity to show the world what it is capable of and display the beauty that the country has.”
Malawi is scheduled to host the Sadc summit from August 9 to 18 in the capital city where Chakwera will assume chairmanship of the 16-member bloc for 12 months.
The summit will focus on trade facilitation and economic transformation; development of a robust intelligence and security system against all forms of terrorism for regional peace and security and finally, strengthening regional integration at national level through the Sadc National Committee structures and how to enhance Covid-19 regional response.
The summit’s preparatory committee is being led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Eisenhower Mkaka who also accompanied the Vice-President on the tour and gave a brief update on what has been achieved.
In a recent interview, director of information Chikumbutso Mtumodzi said government projects that 30 percent of foreign delegates will not physically attend the meeting due to Covid-19 regulations.
The scheduled 41st summit will be held under the theme Bolstering Productive Capacities in the Face of Covid-19 Pandemic for Sustainable Economic Transformation.
Malawi first hosted the Sadc Heads of State and Government Ordinary Summit in August 1997 and last did in August 2013.