Tuesday, August 19, 2014


•Your Majesty, King Mswati III of the Kingdom of Swaziland;

•Your Excellency, Mr. Robert Gabriel Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Incoming Chairperson of SADC;

•Your Excellency, Mr. Hifikepunye Pohamba, President of the Republic of Namibia and Outgoing Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation;

•Your Excellencies, SADC Heads of State and Government here present;

•Your Excellencies First Spouses;

•Your Excellency Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission;

•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 Excellency, Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax, Executive Secretary of SADC;

•Honourable Ministers from the SADC region;

•Members of the Diplomatic Corps;

•Representatives of the Civil Society here present;

•Distinguished Guests;

•Members of the Press

•Ladies and Gentlemen.

I feel greatly honoured to be present at this August Assembly of the SADC family, after being elected as a Head of State of the Republic of Malawi in May, 2014. I am humbled and flattered by the extraordinary congratulatory, goodwill and encouraging messages, I received from my distinguished fellow SADC Heads of State and Government. I have been greatly touched by, particular, your willingness to cooperate and collaborate with my Government.

My deepest sense of humility comes from the fact that in the globalised world, there is nothing much I can do without you. My Government, therefore, wishes to reciprocate, by strongly affirming its readiness to cooperate and associate with all Member States within the SADC Region, for our mutual sustainable political and economic development. Any success during my tenure of office will partly be a product of your support and cooperation. I am thus humbled to know I can count on your firm support and solidarity, which have characterized the SADC family.

Your Majesty, Excellencies, Honourable Ministers, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

Turning to our gracious host, allow me, to express my profound and heartfelt appreciation to the Government and the people of Zimbabwe, for the exceptional and generous hospitality accorded to me, and my delegation, since our arrival in this beautiful and majestic tourist town of Victoria Falls.

I am aware that your heritage is one of the wonders of the world, and it is my intention, I am sure just like most of you, to enjoy God’s creation while here.

It would be remiss on my part not to thank tremendously the SADC Executive Secretary, and her formidable team, for working tirelessly and valiantly in preparing the dossiers for this Summit. This will make us spend less time in addressing the issues as outlined on the Summit Agenda.

Your Majesty, Excellencies, Honourable Ministers, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen;

My Government attaches great importance to the ideals, principles and objectives as agreed by the Founders of this Organisation, and articulated in the SADC Treaty. Our noble and mammoth task is to translate their vision and aspirations into actual and tangible benefits for our peoples. My Government will remain steadfast in contributing to make the dreams of the Founders become a reality.

As you are aware, we are scheduled to consider the Revised SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) for 2015-2020. We must grab this opportunity and ensure that the revised blueprint document recalibrates and repositions SADC to comprehensively implement its intended objectives, in order to realize the aspirations and vision as enshrined in the SADC Treaty.

Your Majesty, Excellencies, Honourable Ministers, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen;

You will note that the ultimate goal of SADC is to use regional economic cooperation and integration as a veritable vehicle to achieve inclusive sustainable economic growth and development, as well as eradicate poverty in the SADC region.

We must use our developmental tools such as the yet to be established SADC Regional Development Fund to ensure that there is equitable sustainable economic growth and development in the SADC region, thereby facilitating effective and efficient regional integration.

I would like to assure you that my Government will play its rightful role to ensure that the SADC Regional Integration Agenda is implemented for the mutual benefit of all Member States in the SADC region.

Your Majesty, Excellencies, Honourable Ministers, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen;

On the global front, I would wish to encourage SADC to continue working more closely on inter-regional, continental and global issues of mutual interest, in particular, the SADC/COMESA/EAC Tripartite Trade Negotiations; the African Union 2063 Agenda; the ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs); the Post-2020 ACP-EU Cotonou Partnership Agreement; the Post-2015 Development Agenda; the WTO Doha Development Round, just to mention but a few.

Let me emphasize this point because, by working in unison and not in isolation, SADC will be able to create a critical mass for effective and beneficial outcomes of the negotiations with the development partners.

Given the evolution in the global development aid dynamics, I strongly believe that SADC should take seriously, trade and investment, as key drivers for sustainable economic growth and inclusive development. The SADC Protocols on Trade, Trade in Services, Finance and Investment as well as the SADC Industrialization Programme, should be implemented effectively to ensure inclusive and equitable socio-economic development in the SADC region.

It is my strong belief that the successful implementation of these instruments will assist us in transforming our economies, from consuming and importing nations to manufacturing and exporting countries, thereby improving significantly the livelihoods of our peoples.

Your Majesty, Excellencies, Honourable Ministers, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen;

At this juncture, allow me to share with you some developments at home in Malawi. As you are all aware, Malawi held its first-ever Tripartite Elections in May, 2014, which were described, as free, fair, credible and transparent by regional and international organizations, such as SADC, COMESA, African Union, European Union and Commonwealth. I wish to take this opportunity to commend the SADC Electoral Observer Mission for playing a key role in the whole electoral process in my country.

As you know, 2014 is a unique year as countries that attained their independence in 1964 are celebrating their 50th Anniversary of their independences. Likewise, Malawi commemorated its Golden Jubilee of Independence Anniversary on 6th July, 2014. We used that opportunity to take stock of progress achieved, thus far, and strategize on our development agenda for the next 50 years and beyond.

The African Union also celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2013, and launched its 2063 Agenda. We in Malawi will conform and align our ambitions to the African Union 2063 Agenda together with the aspirations of the SADC’s Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan, to ensure consistency, correlation and complementarities in the development of our Region and Continent.

Let me take this opportunity to personally congratulate Your Excellency, Mr. Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, for your re-election to another term of office. This has clearly demonstrated the confidence and trust that the people of South Africa have in your leadership. In the same vein, let me wish Your Excellencies and dear Brothers of Botswana, Namibia and Mozambique, effective preparations for your upcoming elections in the course of this year.

Your Majesty, Excellencies, Honourable Ministers, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen;

As I conclude my remarks, I would like to assure you that my Government is committed to continue working towards honouring our obligations under the SADC Treaty for the transformation of our region into a highly competitive economy, socially developed, peaceful and secure.

My Government will also ensure that there are synergies between national and regional development programmes to facilitate deepening and fast tracking regional economic cooperation and integration.

We will revitalize our work in the implementation of the SADC Regional Integration Agenda, through the Revised SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan and Strategic Plan of the Organ II on Politics, Defence and Security, so as to achieve inclusive sustainable economic growth and development in this region.

Thank you for your attention and I wish you success in this Summit meeting.

God bless us all

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