RUSTENBURG – Africans have a duty to refuse to be treated like second-class citizens, Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera said at the 41st regular summit of heads of state and government of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc), in Lilongwe, Malawi.
“As Africans, we have a moral duty to refuse second-class status in the rules of engagement to participate in the global economy.
“So the time has come for us to work together to make full use of the ratified African Free Trade Area until the economic rules that disadvantage our nations are rewritten.
“As Africans, we have a moral duty to refuse second-class status in the restrictions we accept from foreigners to manage our own finances and resources,” Chakwera said.
Chakwera said African countries are full members of the global community and should be treated equally, including the distribution and production of Covid-19 vaccines.
“The time has come for us to insist that a vaccine that preserves and supports a person’s basic right to life belongs to all nations, regardless of who discovered it. “
He said that at a regional level like Sadc, this meant recognizing that the true friends in the world are not those who just see the region mired in poverty, so that they can maintain their messianic complex as benefactors and liberators of the region.
“Our true friends in this world are those who work alongside us to increase our production capacities and transform our economies into engines of sustainable growth.
“We are of the opinion that the Sadc we want is untenable without leveling the rules of the game against the Covid-19 pandemic, revitalizing the agricultural sector, increasing added value, facilitating trade and simplifying the rules of origin”, Chakwera said.
Chakwera assumed the presidency of Sadc, succeeding Flipe Nysusi, the president of Mozambique.
The President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Félix Tshisekedi, was elected incoming President of Sadc.
The 42nd summit would be held in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in August 2022.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has been elected chair of the Organ on Political, Defense and Security Cooperation, succeeding President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
President Hage Geingob of Namibia as the new Chairman of the Organ on Political, Defense and Security Cooperation.
Botswana Civil Servant Elias Magosi has been elected Executive Secretary of Sadc, succeeding Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax of Tanzania, whose term ends on August 31.
The summit reaffirmed SADC’s position that the establishment of the SADC Central Bank and Monetary Union, as a long-term objective to be based on meeting the preconditions, including the harmonization of policies. fiscal and monetary policy in SADC countries and greater convergence of banking systems.
The summit also received updates on the security situation in Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique and commended SADC member states for pledging troops and providing financial support for the deployment of the Force. waiting for SADC in Mozambique.
Tanzania has offered to host the regional counterterrorism center, which would provide specialist and strategic advisory services to the region on terrorist threats.
Sadc decided to send troops to Mozambique, after terrorists supported by the Islamic State launched an attack on the city of Palma, in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, on March 24, killing at least 12 people, including a South African and a Zimbabwean. More than 100,000 people have fled the region for security reasons.
Mozambique had a separate agreement with Rwanda, which sent a joint force of 1,000 troops and police to fight terrorism in Cabo Delgado.
The Rwandan force said it had driven rebels out of Mocimboa da Praia, a rebel stronghold in northern Mozambique.
The Rwandan government said the joint force will work closely with the Mozambican armed forces and SADC forces under designated responsibility, to support efforts to restore the authority of the Mozambican state by conducting combat operations. and security, as well as stabilization and reform of the security sector.
Mozambique also had a separate agreement with the EU to train and support the Mozambican armed forces in protecting the civilian population and restoring safety and security in Cabo Delgado province.
The mission would provide military training including operational readiness, specialized counterterrorism training, as well as training and education on the protection of civilians and respect for international humanitarian and human rights law. .
In June, Sadc decided to deploy troops to Mozambique in order to repel terrorism and acts of violent extremism in Cabo Delgado.
Outgoing Organ Troika chairman Mokgweetsi Masisi said in April that the insurgency in Mozambique could lead to spillover and ultimately instability in southern Africa, if left unchecked.
He said it was important for Sadc to intervene to prevent the three-year-old insurgency in northern Mozambique from spilling over the country’s borders. – African News Agency (ANA)