Friday, August 30, 2013

About the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre

The Investment and Export Promotion Act of 2012 established the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) as a one-stop services centre for business start-ups following the merger of Malawi Export Promotion Council -MEPC and Malawi Investment Promotion Agency- MIPA.

MITC is now fully operational and is the focal point of investment and export promotion / facilitation. The Centre is mandated within the Investment and Export Promotion Act of 2012 to do the following:

• Offer a one-stop service to ensure that relevant permits are obtained expeditiously (processing period of 21 days)

• Conduct investment and export promotion in priority sectors including agriculture, agro-processing, fisheries, forestry,
manufacturing, mining and tourism

MITC seeks to promote Malawi as an attractive investment destination and a source of exports into regional and international markets.

MITC Mission

To attract sustainable private domestic and foreign investments to transform Malawi into
a broad-based export-led economy through aggressive trade and investment promotion activities

MITC Vision

To be a leading world class investment and trade promotion centre that brands Malawi
as an ideal business destination to do business

MITC Functions

As a one stop service centre MIT conducts the following functions:

• Investment Promotion
• Package Malawi as an attractive investment destination and present opportunities to potential investors
• Attract investors into prioritised sectors that are crucial to the country’s growth and development
• Receive and follow-up on investor leads and enquiries
 Investment Services (Facilitation & Aftercare)
• Be the point of contact for investment start-up and link investors to necessary information
• Issue investment certificates and facilitate end-to-end investment process,
• Proactively work with investors to mitigate post-investment challenges and monitor compliance
• Advise GoM on investor-friendly policies
• Track and target existing investors for reinvestment opportunities
 Trade Promotion Services
• Identify export markets for existing and current export products
• Consolidate and expand market share for Malawi’s current products in present export markets
• Build capacity of exporters in export marketing

For more information about investment and trade opportunities visit our offices in City Centre Lilongwe. We are located along Convention Drive in Aquarius House first floor. In Blantyre we are in Fourth Floor, Unit House opposite Chayamba Building. Alternatively you can call on these numbers (265) 1 770 800/ 01 771 315/ 01 771 707 or fax 01 771781 or email,,, or visit our website

MISA-Malawi appeals to the Muslim community in Mangochi to return confiscated MBC TV camera

…Condemns Attack on Journalist

Statement for Immediate Release: Thursday, 29 August 2013

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-Malawi) would like to appeal to the Muslim elders in Mangochi to return the Television Camera confiscated from Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) Television crew on Sunday, August 25, 2013.

In the same vein, MISA Malawi would like to condemn in the strongest manner the conduct of Minister of Economic Planning and Development Honorable Ralph Jooma for assaulting Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) journalist, Raphael Mlozoa, who had filed a report of the Mangochi incident. The minister accused Mlozoa of publishing false news. ZBS editor, Pilirani Phiri, confirmed the assault on Mlozoa and said the journalist suffered soft tissue injury and was treated at Mangochi District Hospital.

Some members of the Muslim community in Mangochi reportedly confiscated a television camera belonging to the State-run national broadcaster in the aftermath of what appears to be a misunderstanding between the religious actors and television crew. The Muslim community accused the television crew of taking footage of the Mosque and prayers without seeking necessary permission from the religious leaders.

Our investigation indicate that MBC crew were working on a documentary on family planning with support from Health Population Project (HPP) and assigned producer Linda Gombera, editor Tsoka Gausi and cameraman Hamilton Mwachande to work on the program. The three members reportedly sought permission from the Traditional Authority (T/A) in the area who also happens to be a sheikh at the Mangochi main Mosque but was not present during the shooting as he had reportedly gone for other errands in Namwera.

MISA Malawi acknowledges that a Mosque is a sacred place and appropriate direction and guidance ought to have been obtained before shooting the video and we respects the decision of the Muslim elders to protect the sanctity of the Mangochi main Mosque.
MISA Malawi, however, believes that the media has a right to report and gather information freely without fear or intimidation and that confiscating the camera and threatening the lives of the journalists in question was rather unwarranted. We therefore appeal to the men of God to reconsider their stand and return the camera to MBC.

Malawi has relevant and responsible organizations such as the police to enforce laws and ensure the protection of every citizen and taking the law into one’s own hands is an offence.

It is on this basis that we find the conduct of the Minister of Economic Planning and Development unfortunate and retrogressive.
MISA understands that Mlozoa’s assault followed a report he filed, which said that minister Jooma had himself been assaulted by members of the Muslim community at Mangochi’s main Mosque. Refuting the story that he had been assaulted, minister Jooma unleashed his bodyguards on Mlozoa, who insists that his story is factually correct.

We condemn the conduct of honorable Jooma’s bodyguards for assaulting Mlozoa for merely doing his job and call upon those in authority to lead by example and be the custodians of the law.

Lastly, we would like to appeal to Malawians to respect the journalists’ right to information and the public’s right to know. Fear and intimidation should have no place in a democratic Malawi.
MISA-Malawi would also like to implore journalists to be more responsible and very professional in order to protect our noble profession.

Anthony Kasunda
MISA Malawi Chairperson

Tuesday, August 20, 2013








SUNDAY, 18th AUGUST, 2013

Your Excellency, Armando Emilio Guebuza, Outgoing Chairperson of SADC, and President of the Republic of Mozambique;

Your Excellency, Jakaya Kikwete, Outgoing Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation, and President of the United Republic of Tanzania;
Your Excellencies Heads of State and Government;
Your Excellencies, First Spouses;
Your Excellency, Mrs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission;
Your Excellencies, High Commissioners and Ambassadors accredited to Malawi;
Your Excellency, Dr Tomaz Augusto Salomão, Outgoing SADC Executive Secretary;
Chairperson of the SADC Council of Ministers;
Honourable Ministers;
Distinguished Delegates, Invited Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

We have now come to the closing of the 33rd Ordinary Summit of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) after two days of intense and fruitful discussions here in Lilongwe.

On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Malawi, and indeed, on my own behalf, I would like to express my profound gratitude to Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government and heads of Delegation, and to all delegates for the dedication and commitment demonstrated at this important Summit meeting.

I wish to congratulate and welcome the incoming Deputy Chairperson of SADC His Excellency Robert Gabriel Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the incoming Deputy Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation, His Excellency Right Honourable Thomas Thabane Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho. I look forward to working closely with you both in the coming year.

Allow me to extend my sincere tribute to Your Excellency Dr. Tomaz Augusto Salomao, the Outgoing Executive Secretary of SADC and your Staff for the unwavering support you have provided during your tenure of office. You have provided the Summit and its preceding meetings with professional advice on various important issues.

During your tenure, we have witnessed a number of Protocols being implemented and others coming into force.

These include among others the SADC Protocols on:

Trade, Finance and Investment;
Tourism, Transport, Communication and Meteorology;
Trade in Services;
Culture, Information and Sport; and
Gender and Development

In the same vein, I would like to congratulate and welcome the incoming Executive Director of SADC, Dr. Stergomena Tax of the United Republic of Tanzania, who will take her oath of office shortly. I look forward to working with you.

I am confident that we will work together to further the ideals, policies and programmes of our great regional grouping.

This appointment demonstrates SADC’s continued commitment to realise gender equality, equity and women’s empowerment.

You and I have no choice but to succeed.

I, being the first female Chair, and you, being the first female Executive Director, shall be expected to demonstrate our total commitment and determination to continue with the work of our brothers and take SADC to the next level.

Failing to do so would be failing our brothers who have provided the space for us to participate in shaping our region’s destiny. More importantly we shall let down fellow women who are counting on our success, as well as the girls of our region who look upon us as their role models.

Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

Turning to the main outcomes of this Summit, I am pleased to note that we generally have peace and stability in the Region, despite a few pockets of political insecurity.

The Summit has noted the progress made in Zimbabwe under the Global Political Agreement signed in September 2008; and commended the successful Referendum for the new Constitution in March 2013, as well as the peaceful conduct of the harmonized elections of 31st July, 2013.

On behalf of SADC, I wish to commend all parties in Zimbabwe for their commitment in implementing the Global Political Agreement. I wish to urge all stakeholders in Zimbabwe to continue to work together to move the country forward. SADC calls upon the international community to review their position on sanctions following the progress being made in Zimbabwe.

Furthermore, I wish to commend His Excellency Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa and the South African Government for their leadership in guiding the implementation of the Global Political Agreement on Zimbabwe.

Yesterday, we discussed our concerns about the political situation in Madagascar. Your Excellencies, I am pleased to state that, today, nine candidates have withdrawn from the race. One has withdrawn voluntarily and the other eight have withdrawn due to a ruling by the Electoral Court. This is good news for the SADC region.

It also vindicates that the long and painful efforts of SADC, through its Mediator, former President Joaquim Chisano of Mozambique, are paying dividends.

We remain concerned about the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in the Eastern Part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. We reiterate our call for engagement among all political stakeholders, in order to find a lasting solution for peace, security and stability in the region. We also appeal to all stakeholders to consider engaging all the negative forces so that a lasting solution in the Great Lakes Region is found.

On the economic front, the Summit noted food security and nutrition as the major economic challenge facing our region. In support of this, the Summit unanimously supported the proposed theme for my Chairmanship: Agricultural Development and Agro-Industries: Key to Economic Growth and Poverty Eradication.

We agreed that with respect to the specific issues of food security and nutrition, two ministerial committees should meet as soon as possible. The first committee will be tasked with identifying concrete strategies that can address both the short and long term challenges in achieving food security for our nations.

The second committee will discuss and design strategies to upscale interventions on nutrition.

My Government will engage aggressively on the theme after the Summit, through consultations with the Council of Ministers and the Secretariat. We will work on designing a programme that responds to the specific needs of all our Member States.

Furthermore, I want to make sure that value addition and regional value chains are embedded in the SADC agenda to facilitate agro-processing.

The policies on agriculture, infrastructure and industrial development must not work in isolation but should be coordinated and complement each other. We sincerely hope that economic policy coordination in the SADC system will be harnessed in order not only to accelerate growth but also to reduce poverty, widen economic opportunities and enhance human development.

Your Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen

I am glad that this morning during the Aids Watch Africa Breakfast meeting we had a chance to discuss the need to accelerate efforts towards the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria within the SADC region. We noted the need to look for innovative solutions for local resource mobilization, to learn more from each other within the region, and to find ways to promote domestic drug manufacturing. The Summit also noted the stubborn link between nutrition and HIV/AIDS.

Your Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen

The Mid-Term Review of the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan for the period of 2005-2020 is central to the realisation of the objectives and goals of the SADC Treaty.

My Government commits itself to fully participate in the development of the revised Plan.

I would also like to underscore the importance of finalising the establishment of the SADC Regional Development Fund at the earliest possible time, noting that adequate financial resources are essential to realize our objectives.

Your Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen>

In a special way, I want to give thanks to the outgoing Chairperson of SADC, His Excellency Armando Guebuza, particularly for his proactive and collaborative leadership that has strengthened the ties between our nations.

I hope that we can continue to build these links, and that our people can also benefit from increased collaboration across borders. Experience has shown that often the relationship between leaders has a bearing on how the peoples of those countries will live together, trade together, and maximize other opportunities.

In conclusion, let me once again, state that my Government is greatly honoured to assume the SADC Chairmanship. Our primary goal will be to advance the region’s socio-economic and political interests for the wellbeing of our people. I truly believe we owe it to them.

I have been assured of support from all of you. In that regard, I am encouraged to continue the push for a better life for all of the people of our region.

With these remarks, I would like to declare that the 33rd Ordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government is formally closed.

I wish Your Excellencies and all the distinguished delegates a safe trip back home.

Thank you for your kind attention

World Humanitarian Day

Media Advisory - World Humanitarian Day
19th August, 201

On 19th August, 2003, the then Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Iraq, Sérgio Vieira de Mello and 21 of his colleagues were killed in the bombing of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad.

Originally started in 2009, in remembrance of the 22 UN staff killed on that day, World Humanitarian Day is a day to remember aid workers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. It is also a day to recognise and celebrate the work of humanitarian personnel around the world who have made the ultimate sacrifices in relieving the suffering of victims of humanitarian crises.

This year, Malawi joins the rest of the international humanitarian community in commemorating World Humanitarian Day.

Malawi has had incidences affecting hundreds of thousands of individuals in different parts of the country, be it floods, earthquakes or food insecurity. During the 2012/2013 season, an estimated 1.6 million people were food insecure during the last quarter. This number rose close to 2 million people in 16 districts during the first quarter of 2013. From November 2012 to March 2013, more than 33,000 households were affected by floods and stormy winds in 22 districts. 27 people died in Dedza, Chikhwawa, Phalombe, Mangochi, Zomba, Salima and Karonga as a direct or indirect result of the disasters, most of whom drowned due to flooding of rivers.

The 2013/2014 season has also been marred with food insecurity and the June 2013 Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee report estimates that 1.4 million people in 21 districts will require humanitarian assistance. This could be either through direct food transfers, cash transfers or both. There are also a considerable number of people fleeing from fighting and conflicts in their home land.

The Government, International NGOs, Local NGOs, the Red Cross and Crescent Society, and the United Nations Agencies have worked tirelessly to ensure that populations affected by disasters receive humanitarian assistance. However, it is not possible to respond year in and year out without finding and implementing long term solutions. There is a need for collaborative efforts to implement long term development programmes and interventions while responding to disasters in a timely and professional way.

This year marks 5 years since the World Humanitarian Day was established. And this year’s campaign not only seeks to celebrate the contributions that humanitarian workers make to humanitarian work but also encourages the private sector to continue providing more support towards humanitarian interventions. Through sponsor a word initiative, the private sector is being asked to pick a word that they best feel completes the phrase “The World Needs More …………………………….”

People can also participate by being part of the promotional messaging designed for the World Humanitarian Day by choosing a word that best completes the above phrase. Everyone is therefore being challenged to play a part by making use of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to promote the campaign and hence inspire others to get involved.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Acceptance Statement By Her Excellency Dr. Joyce Banda, President of The Republic of Malawi, On The Occasion of The Official Opening of The Thirty-Third Ordinary Summit of The SADC Heads of State and Government in Lilongwe, Malawi







Your Excellency, Armando Emilio Guebuza, Chairperson of SADC, and President of the Republic of Mozambique;
Your Excellency, Jakaya Kikwete, Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation, and President of the United Republic of Tanzania;
Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government;
Your Excellencies, First Spouses;
Your Excellency, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission;
Your Honour Henry Chimunthu Banda, MP, Speaker of the National Assembly;
Your Honour Anastasia Msosa SC, Chief Justice of the Republic of Malawi;
Your Excellencies, High Commissioners and Ambassadors accredited to Malawi;
Your Excellency, Dr Tomaz Augusto Salomão, SADC Executive Secretary;

Your Excellency, Dr Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank;
Your Excellency, Dr Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA);
Your Excellencies, Heads of Regional and International Organisations here present;
Your Excellencies, Secretary Generals of COMESA and East African Community;
Chairperson of the SADC Council of Ministers;
Honourable Ministers;
Officials from the SADC Member States;
Distinguished Delegates, Invited Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

I am humbled to stand here before you all and accept the leadership of our regional body, the Southern African Development Community (SADC). I want to thank my Dear Brother, His Excellency Armando Emilio Guebuza, President of the Republic of Mozambique and Outgoing Chairperson of SADC, for his wise leadership during his one year tenure of office. I wish to acknowledge in a special the support that I have received from President Guebuza which has prepared me for the role of Chairmanship that I have assumed.

Furthermore, I acknowledge the leadership provided by my Brother, His Excellency Jakaya Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Outgoing Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, in promoting the principles of democracy, rule of law, peace and security in the Region.

On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Malawi, and indeed, on my own behalf, I wish to thank Your Excellencies and your respective Governments for your commitment to championing the SADC integration agenda, and facilitating the implementation of its programmes and projects, through your able steering of Summit and Council Decisions.

Both President Guebuza and President Kikwete have been actively involved in peace seeking efforts in our region- this is what SADC is known for: a peace loving region.

I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate my Dear Brother, His Excellency Hifipunye Pohamba, President of the Republic of Namibia, and Incoming Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation. I have every confidence that together we can drive the agenda for sustainable peace and security in our region.

Your Excellencies and Distinguished Delegates

Each year we gather to discuss what we might do together to address the problems that confront the peoples of our region.

The expectations of our people are high. As incoming Chair, I feel the weight of these expectations.

Your Excellencies and Distinguished Delegates

Millions of our young people in the region face a daily struggle to survive: they cannot find jobs. They cannot go to school. Even if they do, they are not able to secure employable skills.

Millions of our women and men struggle to survive in conditions of poverty, deprivation and underdevelopment. They are hungry for food, through no fault of their own. They die from preventable diseases, through no fault of their own. They die giving birth to another life, through no fault of their own. They are raped in their homes and communities. They suffer violence at home, at school, and in their communities, through no fault of their own. Many of them have lost their dignity, through no fault of their own.

These are the SADC citizens who pay taxes. These are SADC citizens who vote. These are our citizens and our neighbours. They work for us and we work for them. And yet, when they hear our voices and observe our actions, they see that in reality, sometimes we do not always work for them. Our actions suggest that the poor should care for the poor.

I strongly believe, as I am sure you do, that to achieve durable and long-lasting peace and stability in our countries and our region, we must start with the war against poverty. We must fight the war to end the contemporary, deliberate and savage violence of poverty and underdevelopment of our people, particularly those in our rural communities. To win this war, we must encourage political tolerance and the rule of law. We must promote inclusive politics. In this, we cannot afford to leave the youth behind. We cannot afford to leave women behind. We cannot afford to leave the poor to look after the poor.

As Chair of this great community, I hope to drive initiatives that bring SADC closer to the people for whom it works; a people centred SADC. In short – a SADC for the people and by the people.

Your Excellencies and Distinguished Delegates

We have a busy agenda for the next two days and, indeed, the year ahead.

Africa is a continent on the move. But the economic downturn of recent years has highlighted the vulnerability of our economies to external shocks. We need to intensify our efforts towards regional integration in every sense, reminding ourselves that as we strengthen the ties that bind us, we build our resilience against future shocks.

Despite the recent and on-going benefits of the commodities boom, agriculture remains the engine of our long-term, sustainable growth. I have therefore chosen as the theme for my term as Chair of SADC, to promote our regional integration agenda through a focus on “Agricultural Development and Agro-Industries: Key to Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction in SADC Region”.

I have chosen this theme for two reasons. Firstly, because it builds on and compliments the work of the outgoing Chair His Excellency President Armando Emilio Guebuza on development corridors as vehicles for SADC regional integration.

Secondly, for much of our region, agriculture is the largest employer, the largest component of Growth Domestic Product and the biggest generator of foreign exchange. Stimulating this sector, by encouraging diversification, commercialisation and value addition, will encourage broad based inclusive growth. It will transform the livelihoods of our people and provide the foundations for the future economic development of our region.

I believe that it is time for people in SADC region to manage agriculture as a business. Because our farmers must cope with adverse weather conditions, climate change, poor infrastructure and access to markets, we need to develop more innovative approaches to agriculture. We also need new partnerships from private sector to drive agriculture in this region.

We need to work harder to help our smallholder and commercial farmers build, grow and sustain their businesses, to feed ourselves and access new markets beyond our region.

In the case of our tobacco farmers, the global advocacy campaigns threaten their ability to earn a living. Tobacco is an important product to the economies of most of SADC member states. It is against this background that Malawi would like to voice its serious concerns over legislation that is being enacted globally for the removal of tobacco additives and flavourings. This has an adverse and dire impact on growing of burley tobacco in the region by both small-scale and large tobacco farmers.

Your Excellencies and Distinguished Delegates

As we concentrate our collective efforts around driving agricultural development, I hope also in my term as Chair to drive progress on issues that are essential for our development as a community.

We have all been disappointed by the unsatisfactory progress of trade negotiations with the European Union and the Doha Development Round. Though difficult, they remain important. Expanding market access opportunities in agriculture – and other sectors – remains essential.

Promoting intra-regional trade remains a fundamental objective of this regional body. While we have taken steps to open our markets for the movement of goods, I believe we need to strengthen our efforts on the free movement of people. We cannot meaningfully talk of regional integration if our people are not actually free to move within the region. In this regards, we may be encouraged by our brothers and sisters in West Africa, who have demonstrated that the free movement of people can deepen and broaden regional integration.

We also need to fast-track the implementation of the new SADC Industrialisation Policy Framework, the SADC Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan and the SADC Trade Facilitation Instruments. These policies complement the on-going work of the SADC Protocols on Trade, Trade in Services and Finance and Investment. These processes will ultimately accelerate our regional integration agenda and our integration into the continental and global economies.

I also wish to accelerate progress on policies and processes that are essential to our functioning as a community and for planning our future. During the Summit we will receive a progress report on the Mid-Term Review of the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan for 2003-2018. Going forward, I undertake to strengthen coordination between the Secretariat and Member States so that the Final Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan reflects input from all relevant stakeholders.

I am particularly keen to ensure that SADC has a strong voice in the global debate on the post-2015 global development agenda. To do so, we as a community, need an honest and thorough assessment of our progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). As you are aware, a recent evaluation of our MDGs status revealed that a number of targets will be missed. It is imperative that we understand our successes and failures and redouble our efforts to meet these goals in the long term.

I have experienced that commitment pays. I say this having seen the progress that Malawi has made within a short time in fast tracking implementation of MGD 5 on maternal health. Just a few years ago, Malawi’s maternal mortality ratios were as high as 1,200 deaths per 100,000 live births. But with renewed effort we among other things strengthened our human capacity in the health sector, mobilised local leadership and developed partnership with private sector to equip resource poor health facilities. The redoubling of our efforts has paid effort, as at now our experts are indicating that maternal mortality ratios have dropped from the 1,200 deaths to 460 deaths per 100,000 live births.

Your Excellencies and Distinguished Delegates

I will fail in my job if I do not recognise some of the achievements and successes that our regional organisation has registered.

I am pleased to note that SADC has done well in promotion of women in leadership and decision making positions. Since the signing of the historic Gender and Development Declaration in Blantyre in 1997, and the adoption of the SADC Gender Protocol in 2008, the region has demonstrated its commitment to empowerment of women. We have ushered women into positions of power- among them Chairperson for the AU Commission Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Executive Director for UN Women Mrs Phumzile Mlambo Nquka, The Chairperson of the Pan African Parliament Mrs Getrude Mongella, Vice President of Zimbabwe Joyce Mujuru, and I am also testimony of this achievement having become first female president of my country. We are proud of this achievement.

The SADC region can also boasts of creating a conducive environment to foreign direct investment. Trade liberalization, the strengthening of the rule of law, political stability, improvements in legal and other instruments as well as the telecommunications and transport infrastructures are some of positive developments in the region.

In addition, infrastructure and technology are moving fast connecting the countries in the region to each other and to the rest of the world at an unprecedented rate.

Your Excellencies and Distinguished delegates

In conclusion, let me reaffirm my Government’s commitment to the ideals, values and principles of SADC, that are aimed at achieving inclusive, equitable and sustainable economic growth, and political stability. Our ultimate objective is to eradicate poverty and uplift the living standards of the people of our region.

I strongly believe, that with your support, my Government will successfully advance the regional integration agenda during my Chairmanship. I want to assure Your Excellencies and delegates that my Government is committed to conducting the affairs of SADC during its Chairmanship in a democratic, transparent and accountable manner for the welfare of the people of our region.

In closing, I wish to ask of you – as my colleagues and brothers and sisters – that we work to ensure that the poor play a role, not merely as recipients of charity and goodwill, but as co-determinants of what happens in the common community in which we all live. As I have said nothing about the poor without them.

The essential question we have to answer at this Summit is whether we have the courage and the conscience to demonstrate our will to ensure that we will permit no situation that denies any member of our community their dignity?

I am sure that all of us have the same answer to that question: yes, we do! Yes, we can realise our dream. I foresee a region that is peaceful and stable; a region that is an economic powerhouse; a region that feeds itself and becomes a breadbasket of the Continent; a region that provides decent jobs and decent livelihoods to our people. I see a region whose people enjoy robust health and are highly educated in all relevant skills. From the Indian Ocean to the Pacific, I see a region that trades more with itself, adds value to its produce and invests more from within. I see a region that is more interconnected and integrated. I see a region where its people criss-cross its hills and valleys without artificial restrictions and barriers.

Once again I wish to welcome you to the Warm Heart of Africa.

I thank you for your kind attention

Long Live SADC