By Staff Writer:
At the ongoing 42nd SADC Heads of State summit in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the organisation took time to honour its founding members.
Delegates to the summit took advantage of the afternoon session to honour the first heads of State that formed the region bloc.
Among those honoured was Malawi’s founding president late Hastings Kamuzu Banda who ruled the country from 1963 to 1994.
Receiving the award on behalf of Kamuzu Banda’s family, Ken Kandodo nephew to the former president described the award as a real recognition of the foundation work that Kamuzu and other heads of State laid for the Southern Africa bloc.
Outgoing SADC Chairperson Lazarus Chakwera presided over the ceremony.
Earlier in the morning the regional bloc also awarded outstanding media practitioners with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation’s journalist Henry Haukeya emerging victorious in the Television category.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has been in existence since 1980, when it was formed as a loose alliance of nine majority-ruled States in Southern Africa known as the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC), with the main aim of coordinating development projects in order to lessen economic dependence on the then apartheid South Africa.
The founding Member States are: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
SADCC was formed in Lusaka, Zambia on April 1, 1980, following the adoption of the Lusaka Declaration – Southern Africa: Towards Economic Liberation.
The transformation of the organization from a Coordinating Conference into a Development Community (SADC) took place on August 17, 1992 in Windhoek, Namibia when the Declaration and Treaty was signed at the Summit of Heads of State and Government thereby giving the organization a legal character.
The Member States are Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe SADC headquarters are located in Gaborone, Botswana.