A the end of his tenure as chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc), President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera sent a strong plea to his counterparts to take responsibility for the affairs of their nations than leaving everything under the influence of foreign elements.
In his keynote speech at the 42nd Ordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government in Kinshasa Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Malawi leader reminded member states the need for Africa to take development matters in own hands.
“On this matter of pulling our own resources together through the private sector to fund our own projects, I must be emphatic. There is no one outside Africa who is coming to build Africa the way we want it to be built,’’ said President Chakwera.
Chakwera’s sentiments come at the back of growing extractive industry on the continent plus proven studies that show the abundance of unexploited minerals and natural resources deposited underground.
On this note President Chakwera implored SADC leaders to mobilize their resources together to finance different development projects in the region.
‘’For this reason, we must create our own pools of development resources. We already have the natural and mineral resources that should be more than enough to finance any projects we need in Africa, and no economic block is endowed with these resources as SADC is,” he said.
Further, President Chakwera urged fellow leaders to against exploitation of mineral resources by foreign forces. The Malawi leader further implored African leaders to be firm on fair trade on their resources to the foreign markets so that the proceeds from markets should be used to Africans out of poverty.
“We must defend what is ours and make sure that no one takes from us what is ours. If the world wants what we have, they must buy it in a fair trade so that we can use the proceeds to build ourselves new cities, new universities, new infrastructure, new industries, and new programs that will lift our people out of poverty and meet the needs of the most vulnerable among us, including people with disabilities.”
Chakwera’s keynote address preceded the handover of the Chairmanship of SADC to DRC President Felix Tshisekedi.