Dar Es Salaan — The new Chairman of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, last Saturday in Dar es Salaam highlighted that the peace, security and stability enjoyed in the region result from the committed efforts of member countries' leaders.
John Magufuli, Tanzania's President since 2015, was speaking at the opening ceremony of the 39th Ordinary Summit of the SADC Heads of State and Government, in which Angola is being represented by President João Lourenço.
The new SADC chairman, who took over the one-year rotational presidency from Namibian President Hage Geingob, explained that peace and security are the bases for the implementation of various programmes aimed at bringing about regional development.
He spoke in general terms about the challenges, goals and perspectives for the region, as well as recognised the need to tackle some of the conflictual hotspots.
John Magufuli reminded that the region must also deal with current worrying situations like terrorism, organised crime, drought and hunger, further stressing the need for member states to work together to tackle such challenges. On his turn, the outgoing chairman of SADC, Namibia's Hage Geingob, expressed his satisfaction at the region's continuous commitment to the consolidation of democratic principles.
He also highlighted the progresses made by the organisation, with emphasis on the regional integration process, industrialisation and sustainable development.
In the same ceremony, the SADC's executive secretary, Stergomena Lawrence Tax, defended that member states need to diversify the energetic sources, because it is paramount for the industrialisation of the region.
She went on to stress that the region must boost productivity, create conditions for the private sector, particularly for the small and medium enterprises, pay careful attention to gender issues and strengthen the capacities of young people.
During the session, the participants also heard interventions by the presidents of the Comoros, Azali Assoumani, in his capacity as new SADC member, Madagascar, Andry Nirima Rajoelina, and the DR Congo, Félix Tshisekedi, in view of the fact that the last two countries recently held elections and their heads of State are attending the regional summit for the first time.
The gathering is set to close this Sunday.
SADC comprises Angola, South Africa, Botswana, DR Congo, Comoros, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.