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Kikwete Counsels SADC Countries on Strengthening Peace

ANGOLA : FORMER President, Dr Jakaya Kikwete has stressed joint efforts among Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) leaders and citizens in strengthening peace as the blueprint for socio-political and economic prosperity of the region.

Dr Kikwete who currently serves as the Chairman of the SADC Panel of Elders, made the statement during the ongoing SADC 43rd senior officials’ meeting in Luanda City, Angola over the weekend, while presenting on the essentialities of peace and security to Southern African Countries’ inclusive and sustainable development.

He said the prevailed peace among member states will enable them to attain good governance, rule of law and justice for all people, thus creating fair playing ground to all people.

“The country without peace cannot conduct trade, no construction of infrastructure such as roads, no schools and health centres, because the money that could facilitate such infrastructural development will automatically go to  procurement of weapons for security operations,” Dr Kikwete said.

He cited Angola and Mozambique as the best example of the countries which were troubled by political unrests for long time, a situation which retarded their socio-political and economic progress till they were resolved.

He said nowadays conflict resolution through peaceful approach by deploying dialogues has brought political stability among SADC member states, adding that the result is that the countries have been attaining socio-economic progress.

Dr Kikwete said peace and security are the broad concepts involving issues of quality education, health services provision and community welfare at large.

Therefore, he argued, peace is a must for any Southern African countries that needs to excel in all walks of life.

This year, SADC senior officials’ meeting kicked off on August 8 and is expected to be concluded on August 17th by the region’s Heads of State and Government.

The theme of the meeting is ‘Human and Financial Capital: The Key Drivers for Sustainable Industrialisation of the SADC Region.’

The meeting started by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) handing over SADC chairmanship to the Republic of Angola which will chair the community to August 2024.

Outgoing Chairperson of the SADC Standing Committee of Senior Officials, Ambassador Songhu Kayumba, who is the DRC’s Secretary General for the Ministry of Regional Integration and Francophonie noted that DRC’s one year leadership role of the region has observed heightened unity and solidarity.

He said unity has driven the region’s efforts towards achieving set benchmarks on promoting investment in agro-processing industry, benefiting those endowed with minerals and the development of the regional value chains with the views to achieving inclusive sustainable economic growth.

“More significantly we have not observed new emerging political violence such as terrorism in our region” Amb Kayumba noted.

The SADC has a total of 16 member states namely Angola, Botswana, Comoros, DRC, Eswatini, Lethoso, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe albeit this year summit also to be attended by heads of continental and regional bodies as observers.

Source : Daily News