By Duncan Mlanjira
During the 40th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which was held virtually on Monday, August 17, elected President of the Republic of Mozambique, Filipe Jacinto Nyusi as chairperson and shall be replaced by Malawi President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera for the next tenure of office.
President Nyusi takes over from Zimbabwe President Dr. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.
The Summit also elected President of the Republic of Botswana Dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi as chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation while South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa is its incoming chairperson.
According to minutes from the Summit, the Heads of State and Government congratulated the people and the Governments of Mozambique, Botswana, Mauritius, Namibia and Malawi for conducting successful elections.
These Presidents are Filipe Jacinto Nyusi; Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi; Dr. Hage Gottfried Geingob; Pravind Kumar Jugnauth and Chakwera for Mozambique, Botswana, Mauritius, Namibia and Malawi respectively.
Summit also congratulated Right Honourable Moeketsi Majoro for his appointment as the new Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho.
The Summit also expressed deepest condolences to the Mkapa family and the Government and People of the United Republic of Tanzania following the passing on of Benjamin William Mkapa, that country’s third President.
The Heads of State and Government paid tribute to late Benjamin William Mkapa as one of the region’s leaders who contributed greatly to the fight for liberation, development, peace, security and stability of the region.
The minutes indicate receiving a report on SADC integration from the outgoing chairperson and on the implementation of the Theme of the 39th Summit of Heads of State and Government.
Magufuli was commended for his principled and exemplary leadership during his tenure, notwithstanding the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Summit also received a report on the Socio Economic impacts of COVID-19 on SADC economies, noted its effects across sectors, and approved the proposed measures that are to address the sectoral effects.
“The Summit endorsed an enhanced Macroeconomic Convergence Surveillance Mechanism that includes high frequency data to complement, but not replace, the existing Macroeconomic Convergence mechanism.
“The Summit approved the SADC Vision 2050, which is based on a firm foundation of Peace, Security and Democratic Governance, and premised on three interrelated Pillars.”
These pillar are Industrial Development and Market Integration; Infrastructure Development in support of Regional Integration; and Social and Human Capital Development.
The three pillars also recognize Gender, Youth, Environment and Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Management as important cross-cutting components.
“The Summit also approved the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan 2020-2030 to operationalise the Vision 2050.
“The Summit endorsed the Theme of the 40th Summit of Heads of State and Government, ‘SADC 40 Years Building Peace and Security, and Promoting Development and Resilience in the Face of Global Challenges’.”
An Assessment Report on emerging Security Threats in the Region, commended the Secretariat for the Detailed Report and directed it to prepare an action plan for its implementation, that will among others, prioritize measures to combat terrorism, violent attacks and cybercrime; and to address adverse effects of climate change.
While welcoming the decision by Mozambique for bringing the attention violent attacks situation in the country, the SADC leaders offered solidarity and commitment to support the country in addressing the terrorism and violent attacks, and condemned all acts of terrorism and armed attacks.
“The Summit urged Member States to take pro-active measures to mitigate external interference, the impact of fake news and the abuse of social media, especially in electoral processes.
“The Summit reiterated SADC’s position on the reconfiguration of the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as submitted to the UN Secretary General, which, among others, emphasizes that the FIB should not be tampered with.
“The Summit expressed its gratitude to the FIB troop contributing countries for the continued support to peace and security in the eastern DRC, and reiterated SADC’s continued support to the DRC.
The leaders agreed that a face-to-face Summit shall take place in Maputo, Republic of Mozambique in March 2021, if the COVID-19 pandemic situation is contained.