Malawi will Tuesday take over the Southern African Development Community (SADC) chairmanship from Mozambique.
This will take place at the 41st Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe that will run from August 17-18, 2021.
The summit will have a limited number of attendees due to Covid-19 protocols.
During the 41st Summit, Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera will take over from Mozambique’s Filipe Nyusi who assumed the chairmanship of SADC on August 17, 2020 during the 40th SADC Summit.
Prior to the summit, SADC Organ Troika Summit will meet Monday.
The Opening and Closing ceremonies of the 41st SADC Summit will be broadcast live by Malawi Broadcasting Cooperation (MBC) TV and will be accessible on DSTV Channel 295.
The summit will be preceded by a Council of Ministers meeting that will be held in a hybrid format where a limited number of delegates will attend physically, while others will attend through virtual platforms.
The Summit will be held under the theme “Bolstering Productive Capacities in the Face of Covid-19 Pandemic for Inclusive, Sustainable, Economic and Industrial Transformation”. The Theme seeks to accelerate the implementation of the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020–2030, in particular, the Industrialisation and Market Integration pillar.
Two weeks ago, the US Embassy and CDC Malawi, in partnership with University of Maryland – Baltimore, donated 7,000 masks, 1,000 face shields, hand sanitiser, and other personal protective equipment to support the Malawi Government in safely hosting the summit.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has unfortunately robbed the region of visionary leaders, statesmen and women, high ranking officials, SADC Secretariat Staff, spouses and relatives, and a number of SADC citizens.
“Allow me to pay special tribute to leaders that the region has lost, and express condolences to all who lost their loved ones. May the souls of the departed rest in eternal peace,” SADC executive secretary Ms Stergomena Tax said during the official opening of the meeting of the SADC council of ministers on Friday.
“Data indicates that SADC Regional GDP Growth contracted by 4.8 percent in 2020, which is lower than the growth of 2.1 percent recorded in 2019…Regional inflation rates increased to an average of 49.6 percent in 2020 from 16.4 percent in 2019. Public debt also increased from 55.5 percent of GDP in 2019 to 63.2 percent of GDP in 2020.
“Member States are, therefore, encouraged to continue with fiscal and monetary policy measures until economic recovery is back on an upward trajectory,” Ms Tax added.
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 envisage a peaceful, inclusive, competitive, middle- to high-income industrialised region where all citizens enjoy sustainable economic well-being, justice, and freedom.