The 38th Ordinary Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit of Heads of State and Government has officially opened here in Windhoek, Namibia with regional leaders calling for enhanced peace, security and cooperation.
President Lungu was among ten SADC Heads of State and government who attended the official opening of the historical summit.
African Union-AU Chairperson Paul Kagame who is also Republic of Rwanda President also addressed the delegates.
Others in attendance were former Presidents of Mozambique Joaquim Chisano and Namibia’s Sam Nujoma and Hifikepunye Pohamba.
Welcoming the delegates, President of Namibia Hage Geingob called on the SADC region to evoke the spirit unity in purpose which guided the founding fathers on the path towards liberalization.
Dr. Geingob who is the in-coming Chairperson of the SADC Chairman pointed out that the region needs to further evoke the spirit which led to the establishment of the SADC in 1992 to serve as a vehicle for development and integration of the region.
He noted that through adherence to strong governance principles the region will improve the standards of living and quality of life for its people.
The theme of the summit which is being held at the Safari Conference Centre is “Promoting Infrastructure Development and Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development.’’
And Dr. Geingob said it is within the interest of member countries to ensure that youths in the region are equipped with necessary tools required to govern industrialized nations.
Meanwhile, AU Chairman Paul Kagame warned that security issues on the continent tend to go beyond national sovereignty by affecting other nations.
The Republic of Rwanda President hence called for collective action to resolve crises of security with cross-border implications saying such have been settled by other countries or regional groupings.
He explained that SADC has accomplished this task in the past in handling political and security issues in Lesotho and Madagascar, and recently in the Comoros and that the regional body would be called upon to do the same in Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) like it did in Zimbabwe in the recent past.
Mr. Kagame said he is pleased that SADC and the AU accompanied the political process in Zimbabwe saying matters are in the right direction of the final stages of being resolved before the courts of law.
And the outgoing Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Joao Lourenco applauded President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo for his decision not to contest the December 23 elections in that country.
Mr. Lourenco who is the President of the Republic of Angola said the action by President Kabila is a true reflection of the respect for that country’s constitution.
He is hopeful that the government which will be ushered in after the elections will continue fostering peace and stability.
Mr. Lourenco said the will of the people in Zimbabwe prevailed but regretted the loss of life after the elections.
Namibian President Hage Geingob assumed the leadership of the regional organisation from his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa during Summit.
And Zambia will assume chairmanship of the troika for the SADC Organ on Politics, Defense and Security from Angola during the summit.
During the summit President Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana, Joao Lourenco of Angola, Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa and Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe gave their maiden speeches.