Malawi’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr. George Chaponda on Thursday said Malawi has been commended for resolving security issues in Madagascar and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Dr Chaponda said this in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe when he handed over his Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Council of Ministers Chairmanship to his Zimbabwean counterpart, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi.

Chaponda said, “During the tenure of Malawi as chair we were able to resolve issues of peace and security in Madagascar

As you know there were political problems in Madagascar but these were able to be resolved by SADC through the mediation processes.

Secondly, the problems which were also there in the DRC which again featured during the chairmanship of Malawi were resolved in the sense that M23 was defeated and also the FBLR forces were demobilised and I think these were great attributes to our period.”

Chaponda expressed his gratitude that SADC passed most activities advocated by Government of Malawi.

“You may recall that during the AU chairmanship of the late president Bingu wa Mutharika he advocated very strongly in terms of issues of food security and also during the SADC chairmanship of Malawi were promoting the issues of adding value to food.

I am pleased that at the end of our period, the Sadc has passed these activities that were being propounded under our chairmanship like issues of adding value to food and nutrition as well as security strategies in terms of food.

Dr Chaponda told journalists that Malawi has also been commended for providing the peace keeping forces together with the United Nations (UN) and others that made peace to prevail in the DRC.

Chaponda commended the SADC member states for providing support to Malawi which led to a peaceful and transparent May 20 Tripartite Elections. He also congratulated South Africa for also holding peaceful and transparent general elections. Handing over his chairmanship to Zimbabwe’s Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Dr Chaponda pledged Malawi’s support during her tenure of office. “We will render full support to Government of Zimbabwe in her tenure of office,” he said.

Malawi’s theme was, “Agriculture Development and Agri-Industries: Key for Economic Growth and Poverty Eradication in the SADC Region”

In his accepting speech, the new Council of Ministers Chairperson thanked Malawi for the achievements she managed to achieve during her tenure of office. “We appreciate the good work Malawi has performed during her tenure.

He said people in the SADC region expected good things from the grouping for their wellbeing.

However, he stressed on the need for SADC to implement programmes that are sustainable and those that the region can manage to fund from its own resources. “The region must come up with programmes to actualise the theme and eradicate poverty.”

The 34th SADC Summit of the Heads of State taking place from 8 to 18 August at Elephant Hills Hotel in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe under the theme, “Sadc strategy for economic transformation” leveraging the region’s diverse resources for sustainable economic and social development through beneficiation and value addition.

He said what brings the SADC grouping together are the common history, culture, ideals and future.

Sadc, established in 1992, is a Regional Economic Community comprising 15 Member States; Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa,, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Main objectives of the grouping are to achieve development, peace and security, and economic growth, to alleviate poverty, enhance the standard and quality of life of the peoples of Southern Africa, and support the socially disadvantaged through regional integration, built on democratic principles and equitable and sustainable.

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