Dar es Salaam — Government says Malawi as a member of Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), stands to benefit in numerous ways following some resolutions made on intra-trade, industrialization promotion and job creation during the 39th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government which ended Sunday.
Vice President Right Honorable Everton Herbert Chimulirenji disclosed this to Malawian journalists who covered the Summit from 17 to 18th August in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania during a press briefing on Summit outcomes.
"In the first place, I would like to thank the State President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika for sending me to represent him during the Summit.
"Malawi will benefit a lot from the Summit because there are a number of agreements that have been made such as agreements to increase intra-trade and job creation within the SADC region. There is no sense in selling commodities outside SADC when our neighbouring sisters and brothers need such products," said Chimulirenji.
He also said the summit resolved that member states should promote women representation in politics and economic decision making because, like men, they also contribute towards achieving economic growth and development in the region.
"However, I would like to urge all Malawians and other stakeholders to make sure that when good ideas, strategies and policies have been created and shared, let's start implementing them to develop our country," said the veep.
During the summit, the the vice president, on behalf of the Malawi leader, Prof. Arthur Mutharika, signed SADC protocols among them were protocol on industry, inter-state transfer of sentenced offenders and protocol on extradition.
The theme for 2019 Sadc Summit was: "A Conducive Environment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, Increased Intra-Regional Trade and Job Creation."
In his comment on the 39th ordinary summit focus, Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Ibrahim Salim Bagus MP said: "Economy cannot grow without industries. It is very good for SADC to concentrate on industrialization. Our industries or factories should not die."
Bagus said Malawi is providing some incentives like reduced taxes to attract investors or traders to come and create more jobs for Malawians as well as people from neighboring countries but living in Malawi like Tanzania and Zambia.
The minister expressed happiness that Sadc was constructing the Angola-Namibia, Mozambique-Malawi and Zambia-Tanzania-Kenya Power Interconnectors to help connect power networks of the three non-operating members of Angola, Malawi and Tanzania - to the regional grid.
He said energy enhancement would make industrialisation affordable and thereby increase production, employment and economic growth in factories and the country at large.
However, the current SADC chairperson, Dr. John Magufuli President of the United Republic of Tanzania, during the summit, singled out poor information sharing among member states as one of the reasons crippling intra-trade and economic performance in the region.
In his reacion, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Francis Kasaila said: "We plan to create a data base because that forum is lacking for people to see products we have on the market."
He said other people go on google to search for the products they want, but at the moment, the country does not have that forum but once in place, Malawi would easily afford to market and sell its products across the Southern Africa region.
Presenting a communique at the end of the 39th SADC summit, Dr. Stergomena Lawrance Tax, Executive Secretary of the SADC said, among others, the Summit noted with great concern the slow growth in the intra-SADC trade levels, and that the region continues to export unprocessed raw material to the rest of the world, thereby forfeiting the potential benefits of the resource endowments. To this effect, the Summit agreed to accelerate the implementation of the industrialization strategy.
The Summit approved the Revised Roadmap towards the full Operationalization of the SADC Regional Development Fund. The Fund will provide mechanism to mobilize resources from member states, development partners and private sector to support regional development and deepen regional integration.
Malawi signed the Agreement establishing the Fund in August, 2018 during the last Summit in Windhoek, Namibia.
Summit urged Member States to expedite the implementation of energy projects within Southern Africa Power pool and to explore other means of generating electricity in addition to hydropower.
The Summit approved Kiswahili as the fourth SADC official working language to be implemented on a gradual approach. This is in recognition of its contribution and Mwalimu Julius Nyerere's role during the liberation struggle. The three languages that were already being used by Sadc include English, French and Portuguese.