SADC summit congratulates Zambia on elections, commends members for pledging support to troubled spots

The 41st SADC Summit ended in Malawi today with a united call for the unconditional lifting of illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe and support the country in the ongoing socio-economic strengthening efforts, among other resolutions.

The Summit commended the people and the Government of the Republic of Zambia for conducting successful elections and congratulated H.E. Hakainde Hichilema for winning the elections.

President Edgar Chagwa Lungu was thanked for his leadership and contribution to SADC development and integration during his tenure as President of Zambia and for nobly accepting the results of the 2021 Presidential elections in the Republic of Zambia.

The summit received a report of the Outgoing Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, H.E. Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana, and commended him for his outstanding leadership and continued efforts to address peace and security threats during the year, notwithstanding challenges posed by COVID-19. 

It then endorsed an Action Plan for the implementation of Security Threats Report, and urged Member States to implement interventions contained in the Plan.

Regarding the situation in Lesotho, the bloc received a progress report from the SADC Facilitator to the Kingdom of Lesotho, H.E. Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa on the implementation of SADC decisions in the Kingdom of Lesotho, and commended the Kingdom of Lesotho for progress made in implementing SADC decisions and the ongoing reforms. 

Summit also urged the Kingdom of Lesotho to expedite completion of the ongoing reforms, and to continue with peace, transitional justice and reconciliation process to engender national unity, and bring about national healing and cohesion. 

The Summit commended the SADC Facilitator to the Kingdom of Lesotho, H.E. Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, for his dedication and continued facilitation, and extended his mandate as the SADC Facilitator until the 42nd Summit of Heads of State and Government. 

There was also an update on the security situation in Cabo Delgado Province, in Northern part of the Republic of Mozambique, about which SADC member states were commended for pledging personnel and providing financial support towards the deployment of SADC Standby Force to Mozambique.

Similarly, the summit commended the United Republic of Tanzania for offering to host the Regional Counter Terrorism Centre, which will offer dedicated and strategic advisory services to the Region on terrorism threats.

The Summit received reports on the socio-economic overview in the region, regional food and nutrition security, gender and development, HIV-AIDS, and on the implementation of the 40th Summit Theme, “SADC 40 Years Building Peace and Security, and Promoting Development and Resilience in the Face of Global Challenges” and commended the Outgoing Chairperson of SADC, H.E Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, President of the Republic of Mozambique, for his exemplary leadership during his tenure.

In terms of regional economic integration, Summit reaffirmed SADC’s position that the creation of the SADC Central Bank and Monetary Union, as a long-term objective to be premised on fulfilling preconditions that include, the harmonisation of the fiscal and monetary policies of SADC countries, and greater convergence of banking systems. In this regard, the African Monetary Institute and the African Central Bank should be long-term objectives.

Summit expressed concern and objected to the unilateral decision taken by the African Union Commission to grant the State of Israel Observer Status to the African Union.

Summit endorsed “Bolstering Productive Capacities in the Face of COVID-19 Pandemic for Inclusive, Sustainable Economic and Industrial Transformation” as a theme of the 41th Summit. The Theme takes forward the implementation of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap 2015-2063, with a specific focus on enhancing regional productive capacities.

The summit elected Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi, as Chairperson of SADC, and H.E. Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo as Incoming Chairperson of SADC. 

It also elected H.E. Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, as Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, and H.E. Dr. Hage G. Geingob, President of the Republic Namibia as Incoming Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation. 

Meanwhile, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has since returned home from attending the summit.