“No one outside of Africa will come to build Africa as we want it to be built,” insists Lazarus Chakwera, the outgoing president of SADC. It was on the occasion of the Summit of Heads of State of this community, held on August 18 in Kinshasa around the theme “Promoting industrialization through agro-processing, the development of minerals and the development of the regional value chains to achieve inclusive economic growth”.
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For the Malawian head of state, there is no room for doubt, foreign economic operators are investing crumbs on the continent. “Americans, Europeans and Asians spend only a few million dollars on building infrastructure in Africa,” Chakwera argues.
Insufficient to have a significant impact on the prevailing poverty in the sub-region, or to develop a resilient economy. “For this reason, we must create our own pools of development resources,” insists the outgoing SADC president.
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Aware of the importance of the natural and mineral resources available to southern Africa to finance any future project, the Malawian Lazarus Chakwera puts in garde against any attempt at embezzlement. “The plunder we allowed the West to carry out in the Democratic Republic of Congo is a sin we must repent of,” he added.
Looking to the future
The time has come to show and tell “to the world with one voice that Africa is open for business, but not for sale”, concludes Chakwera.
Now at the head of the rotating presidency of SADC, Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi has pledged to invest with all member states in the construction of infrastructure for the rapid industrialization of the sub-region. Member States must “accelerate the implementation of relevant and related projects” in order to achieve this objective, Explain Tshisekedi.