Vice President Everton Chimulirenji says there is no sense for Malawi to sell commodities outside Southern African Development Community (SADC) when its neighbouring sisters and brothers need such products.
The vice president made the remarks at a press briefing after attending the 39th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government from 17 to 18th August in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania.
During the summit, the vice president, on behalf of the Malawi leader, President Peter Mutharika, signed SADC protocols among them were protocol on industry, inter-state transfer of sentenced offenders and protocol on extradition.
Chimulirenji said Malawi stands to benefit from the agreements on intra-trade, industrialization promotion and job creation.
“However, I would like to urge all Malawians and other stakeholders to make sure that when good ideas, strategies and policies have been created and shared, let’s start implementing them to develop our country,” Chimulirenji said.
In his comment, Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism Ibrahim Salim Bagus MP said: “Economy cannot grow without industries. It is very good for SADC to concentrate on industrialization. Our industries or factories should not die.”
Bagus said Malawi is providing some incentives like reduced taxes to attract investors or traders to come and create more jobs for Malawians as well as people from neighbouring countries but living in Malawi like Tanzania and Zambia.
The minister expressed happiness that Sadc was constructing the Angola-Namibia, the Mozambique-Malawi and the Zambia-Tanzania-Kenya Power Interconnectors to help connect power networks of the three non-operating members of Angola, Malawi and Tanzania — to the regional grid.
He said energy enhancement would make industrialisation affordable and thereby increase production, employment and economic growth in factories and the country at large.
Speaking during the summit, Dr. John Magufuli President of the United Republic of Tanzania who is SADC chairperson, during the summit, singled out poor information sharing among member states as one of the reasons crippling intra-trade and economic performance in the region.
In his reaction, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Francis Kasaila said: “We plan to create a database because that forum is lacking for people to see products we have on the market.”
He said other people go on google to search for the products they want, but at the moment, the country does not have that forum but once in place, Malawi would easily afford to market and sell its products across the Southern Africa region.
Among others, the Summit approved the Revised Roadmap towards the full Operationalization of the SADC Regional Development Fund which will provide mechanism to mobilize resources from member states, development partners and private sector to support regional development and deepen regional integration. Malawi signed the Agreement establishing the Fund in August 2018 during the last Summit in Windhoek, Namibia.
Member states were also told to expedite the implementation of energy projects within Southern Africa Power pool and to explore other means of generating electricity in addition to hydropower.
Members during the summit approved Kiswahili as the Fourth SADC Official Working Language to be implemented on a gradual approach. This is in recognition of its contribution and Mwalimu Julius Nyerere’s role during the liberation struggle. The three languages that were already being used by Sadc include English, French and Portuguese.
The theme for 2019 Sadc’s Summit was: “A Conducive Environment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, Increased Intra-Regional Trade and Job Creation.”