Malawi leader who is also the outgoing SADC Chairperson has reiterated a call to leaders in the region to operationalize the SADC Regional Development Fund as outlined in the SADC treaty to ensure that their projects and programmes have sustainable financing.
Delivering his keynote address on Wednesday during the 42nd Ordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government in his capacity as the outgoing SADC Chairperson, Chakwera said member states should pull their own resources together through the private sector to fund their own projects.
“There is no one outside Africa who is coming to build Africa the way we want it to be built. Not the Americans. Not the Europeans. Not the Asians.
“They may give us a road here and there, a stadium or two, a few million dollars that are nothing more than pocket change to them and that are nothing compared to the amounts they give each other as Westerners or Easterners. We need serious resources here and there is no one who is going to hand it to us,” he said.
Chakwera added that member states should create their own pools of developmental resources adding that the region already has natural and mineral resources enough to finance any projects needed across Africa.
“We must get our act together and work together to protect these resources and turn them into the key they are for unlocking our region’s economic potential. If we do not do that, the forces we all know are already in our region from the West and the East will surely succeed in their intentions to steal them from us,” said Chakwera.
He further urged his fellow leaders to show and tell the world with one voice that Africa is open for business, but not for sale.
“With the resources we have, we refuse to be anyone’s beggar, and with the unity we have, we must refuse to let anyone steal from us or use us to steal from our own people or each other.
“The plunder that we have allowed the West to conduct here in the DRC is a sin we need to repent of, resolve, and refuse to see repeated anywhere else in our region,” said Chakwera.
Among other key issues discussed during the two-day summit which has been opened today include how to promote industrialization through the transformation of agriculture, the development of mineral resources and value chains at the regional level.