12 March 2014

Southern Africa: SADC Member States Given a Wakeup Call

Lilongwe — Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states have been given a wakeup call to start putting into action resolutions and agreements reached upon in various meetings and workshops.

The call was sounded by Malawi Minister of Foreign Affairs Ephraim Mganda Chiume when he officially closed the 2014 SADC Council Of Ministers meeting Tuesday in Lilongwe.

The meeting aimed at deliberating and approving the 2014/15 Plan and Budget of SADC Institutions and to take stock of the status of implementation of the 2013/14 Plan and Budget.

It also looked at issues of members of staff in the tribunal and the issues of regional integration to see how the regions can integrate effectively and quickly for the benefit of the regions member economies.

"We do have a lot of meetings and even workshops. But most people just talk and do not act. But as far as the Malawi government is concerned, we would like to act on decisions or whatever we agree upon.

"If we come up with a plan, that plan must be implemented. That is how the administration of Her Excellency Dr Joyce Banda operates that any plan that comes up must be executed to come up with the desired results.

"And Malawi as a member state of SADC, we will do our part and implement decisions SADC has come up with," said Chiume who is the current chairperson of the SADC council of Ministers.

On Madagascar, the chairperson said while the country had been welcomed back into the community, it will currently be participating more like just an observer.

This is according to him following the rules of SADC as regards default in payments until the arrears are cleared.

"However, we have mandated the secretariat to negotiate with Madagascar so that they can come up with a payment plan because we understand where they are coming from and their circumstances which we will consider when we meet again," explained Chiume.

The council of ministers met in Lilongwe from March 10 to March 11.

However, the whole meeting between staff started on March 3 and the council is expected to meet again in August 2014 in Zimbabwe.

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