Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi will later this month take over the Chairmanship of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The 40th Heads of State summit will be held virtually as Mozambique takes helm of the regional organization to speak on peace, security and regional co-operation.
Up to this year, the Chairman of the 16-member regional bloc was under the leadership of Tanzania’s fifth President, Dr. John Magufuli.
President Magufuli, the seating chairperson, assumed the leadership of the trade bloc last year in August. Arguably, President Magufuli had to deal with one of the worst crisis that the SADC trade bloc has ever had to face, Covid-19.
As it did for the European Union and other World trade areas, the Covid-19 global pandemic rendered business asunder across all 16 member states. Most all SADC member states were forced to close their borders effectively disrupting business flow across Africa’s largest trade bloc.
Preparations for the presidential handover of the chairmanship are preceded with ministerial level handovers which was conducted earlier this month. The most recent handover was by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Brigadier Ibuge who has been serving the role of SADC standing committee chairperson and who handed over the post to his Mozambican counterpart, Alfredo Nuvunga.
It is during these ministerial level handovers held recently at a SADC meeting in Dar es Salaam that Brigadier General Ibuge was emphatic that thanks to the visionary leadership of President Magufuli, SADC did not suffer as bad as it would otherwise have.
Speaking with other high ranking delegates, the senior official praised President Magufuli’s leadership which he said enabled SADC to accomplish the ”…adoption of regional guidelines for harmonising and facilitating movement of critical goods and services across the region during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Several achievements that SADC made during Magufuli’s tenure include but are not limited to, passing of recommendations for endorsement of the draft for SADC Vision 2050 and the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020-30.
On his part the new SADC standing committee chairperson Ambassador of Mozambique in Tanzania Monica Clemente, who could not attend the event in person and was represented by Ambassador of Mozambique in Tanzania Monica Clemente.
In his speech, that was delivered by Ambassador Clemente, the SADC standing committee chairperson said it is through “…our collective resolve, that the region remains better served.”
“We need to congratulate ourselves as a region for doing so well to maintain our regional cooperation amidst and despite those challenges,” added standing committee chairperson.
Handing over the reins, Brigadier General Ibuge summed up his speech with a closing remark that summarized what is expected of the coming leaders of SADC.
“The task ahead for Mozambique is to formalise the Vision 2050 and RISDP 2020-30 after being passed by the Council of Ministers and then by the Heads of State,” he said.
Notably, the said meetings of the Council of Ministers that will be followed by the Heads of State meeting, are all expected to be virtual with the former slated for August 17.
When opening the 4th Annual SADC Industrialisation Week last year, the outgoing Chairperson of SADC, Tanzanian’s President John Magufuli called for African countries to redouble their efforts to industrialize their economies.
He underscored the need for SADC Member States to pursue industrialisation, saying it is a cornerstone for accelerated regional economic growth, enhanced competitiveness and job creation.
“For the SADC region to industrialize and grow its economy, there is need to foster intra-regional trade; harness science and technology; maintain reliable energy and infrastructure; increased youth involvement in innovation; eliminate barriers to trade and enhance a conducive environment for participation and growth of the private sector,” he said.
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