President Lazarus Chakwera has introduced the Chakwera Prize for Public Speaking to be competed for by college students from across Africa.
Chakwera who is also Southern African Development Community (SADC) chairperson announced the prize yesterday when he was speaking at the SADC headquarters in Gaborone, Botswana.
He said the prize is part of his pledge to promote regional cohesion among young people in Africa.
“I pledge to promote our regional cohesion among Africa’s emerging young leaders so that the next generation of hands into which we must pass on the baton of economic integration efforts are prepared.
“Toward that end, I am pleased to announce the establishment of the Chakwera Prize for Public Speaking, which will invite recorded submissions of college students across Africa articulating their innovative ideas for strengthening Pan-African unity,” the Malawi leader said.
Chakwera, in his speech, also pledged to support and work with SADC secretariat in addressing any institutional and political obstacles in the path of achieving economic integration.
“I pledge to rally support for our economic integration agenda from our International Cooperating Partners. I pledge to lend my voice to the cause of diversifying our funding sources and explore collaboration opportunities with non-traditional partners,” said Chakwera.
He then hailed SADC Executive Secretary Elias Mpedi Magosi and the SADC staff for their professionalism, dedication, and commitment to the successful implementation of all SADC programmes.
He urged them to continue to execute their duties with integrity, to work with common purpose, to implement SADC Summit Decisions with expedition and to continue to make SADC the best region in Africa to live, to work, to visit, and to trade.
On his part, Magosi reaffirmed the secretariat’s commitment in delivering its responsibilities to maintain the image of SADC as a credible organisation.
He pledged to continue fulfilling the ultimate objective of sustaining peace and security and also accelerating socio-economic development through deeper integration of member States.
During the meeting, Chakwera, who became SADC chairperson in August this year, was briefed on the mandate, functions and structure of the SADC Secretariat and division of responsibilities.
He was also taken through the SADC priorities and the overall status of the regional integration agenda.
On arrival, the President toured the SADC library named after Tanzania’s founding president Julius Nyerere to appreciate the SADC history collection. He also unveiled a plaque in honour of his visit, a SADC tradition when a sitting chairperson visits the Secretariat.