The 42nd summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) opened on Wednesday 17 August in Kinshasa, DRC. During this sub-regional event, Félix Tshisekedi, President of the DRC, was elected to lead the organisation for one year. The Congolese president has succeeded the Malawian president, Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera.
This 42nd Ordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government brings together in Kinshasa, a dozen Heads of State and Government as well as high ranking personalities. Its theme is “Promoting industrialisation through agro-industry, mineral enrichment and regional value chains for resilient economic growth”.
Africa must be responsible
And speaking of industrialisation, Lazarus Chakweera, Malawi’s outgoing SADC president, says Africa must play its part. “There is no one outside Africa who will come and build Africa the way we want it to be built. Not the Americans, not the Europeans, not the Asians either. They can give us a road here and there, a stadium here and there, a few million dollars that are nothing but pocket money to them and nothing compared to the amount of their trade,” he said.
In addition, President Lazarus Chakweera expressed his displeasure at Western robbery of Africa’s natural resources. “The looting we have allowed the Western world to commit in the DRC is a sin we must repent of, and refuse to allow to be repeated elsewhere in our region,” the Malawian president said.
Félix Tshisekedi, the new president of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), pledges to work to raise the level of industrialisation in the SADC region. “I will actively implement programs to develop infrastructure and services in the region directly related to our key strategies to boost economic integration and eradicate poverty in the SADC region,” he promised.
Furthermore, it should be noted that SADC is a sub-regional bloc that has achieved regional integration and the free movement of goods and people. The organisation holds its regular summit every year and the current one ends on Thursday 18 August 2022.
Félix Tshisekedi, the incoming president of SADC, holds the presidency of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), which has 11 member countries, and SADC, which has 16 member states: Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.