SADC summit: President Nyusi hands over chairmanship to Malawi’s President Chakwera

The 41st hybrid summit underway in Malawi has seen outgoing SADC Chairperson, Mozambique’s President Jacinto Nyusi, hand over the chair’s post to President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera.

In his acceptance speech, President Chakwera said Africa stands at the threshold of a new beginning that rejects all forms of ill-treatment on the basis of colour, origin or historical background by those who fake love.

SADC Secretary-General Dr Lawrence Stergomena Tax’s term also comes to an end, signifying the end of an era under which the secretariat was under the first woman to have that post.

Dr Tax’s term began eight years ago when she was elected the first female secretary-general to be Executive Secretary in Lilongwe, Malawi.

Symbolically, she gave her farewell speech in front of her own President, the first female President of Tanzania, Her Excellency Samia Suluu Hasan.

“As I look back, I visualize that unique and famous 2013 picture of female leaders in Africa and SADC, Her Excellency Joyce Banda, the then President of the Republic of Malawi and Chairperson of SADC; Her Excellency Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the former Chairperson of the African Union Commission; Justice Anastasia Msosa, who was the Chief Justice of Malawi at the time; and I being celebrated as the Executive Secretary of SADC; this was a pinnacle of women empowerment. It was a picture of FIRSTS the first female President of Malawi; the first female Chairperson of the African Union Commission; the first female Chief Justice of Malawi; and I had just been appointed as the sixth, but the first female Executive Secretary of SADC,” she said.

“As I handover, and look back, I note with satisfaction the progress made in empowering women, both, economically, and in leadership positions. We have a number of female leaders in various positions, including a female president in SADC, H.E Samia Suluhu Hassan of the United Republic of Tanzania, who has demonstrated beyond any doubt that women are capable of steering nations with outstanding and exemplary leadership, and wisdom. May she be supported by all, internationally, regionally and nationally.”