6 from Malawie The President, Dr Lazarus Chakwera, assume the presidency of Southern African Development Committee (SADC) to 41st Summit of Heads of State and Government Summit in Lilongwe next week.
Dr Chakwera will succeed President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique at a time when the region is grappling with health, political and social challenges.
The new president of SADC was born into a peasant family in a village west of Lilongwe on April 5, 1955. He was named Lazarus after the biblical friend of Jesus, whom Jesus resurrected four days after his death. . Dr Chakwera’s father believed his son would come out of the family’s poverty.
Dr Chakwera studied philosophy at the University of Malawi where he graduated in 1977, before continuing to study theology at the University of the North in South Africa, and later at Trinity International University in the States. -United.
The 65-year-old former pastor, married to Monica with whom he has four children, has been involved in Malawi politics as chairman of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) for eight years since 2013 and head of state since 2020 .
As the next SADC President, Dr Chakwera will lead the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020-2030 and the SADC Vision 2050, which were adopted by the 40e SADC Summit in August 2020 based on a solid foundation of peace, security and democratic governance and founded on the three pillars of industrial development and market integration; Development of infrastructure in support of regional integration; and Development of social and human capital.
SADC Vision 2050 and RISDP 2020-30 envision a peaceful, middle-to-high-income industrialized region where all citizens enjoy sustainable economic well-being, justice and freedom.
Among other pressing issues, Dr Chakwera should pursue regional peace and security as integral components of development planning in southern Africa, where economic cooperation and integration require a peaceful environment in which people – y including women and youth – can participate meaningfully in the mainstream. Activities.
SADC plays a central role in early warning, preventive diplomacy, mediation, conflicts
prevention and resolution, with an emphasis on preventing conflicts in their early stages.
A strong link was created between early warning leading to early action through the establishment of the Regional Early Warning Center (REWC) in Mozambique, which was launched this year.
Dr Chakwera will oversee the SADC Standby Force mission to counter terrorism and violent extremism as well as the delivery of humanitarian assistance in Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique.
It should also strengthen the regional and national capacities of SADC in the research and manufacture of pharmaceuticals and other essential drugs and medicines, the promotion of traditional and alternative medicines and the development of vaccines; facilitate support for a temporary waiver of certain provisions of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) to enable more countries to produce the COVID-19 vaccine, for a more effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new president will push for member states to strengthen and expand the coverage of social protection and safety net programs to respond to growing numbers of food insecure populations and to promote added value through agrifood; and integrate the regional food and nutrition security strategy into national food and nutrition security strategies to combat increasing rates of malnutrition; and strengthen and expand coverage of social protection and safety net programs.
The Malawian leadership of SADC will see the country take the lead role in the organization of regional meetings within the framework of the architecture of the main legal frameworks governing the operations of the bloc and its institutional arrangements as set out in the Treaty. of SADC.
Malawi last hosted the SADC Heads of State and Government Summit in August 2013 where, among historic milestones, leaders appointed Dr Stergomena Tax as the bloc’s sixth and first female Executive Secretary.
Coincidentally, Malawi’s reception of the 41st The SADC Summit will once again see regional leaders appointing the next Executive Secretary.