A dozen Heads of State of the Economic Community of Southern African States (SADC) held a summit on Wednesday in Kinshasa on the industrialization of the sixteen member countries of the sub-region, called upon to develop their own “value chains”, noted an AFP team.
The theme chosen was: “Promoting industrialization through agro-processing, mineral beneficiation and the development of regional value chains with a view to achieving inclusive economic growth”.
“There is no one outside of Africa who will come and build Africa the way we want it to be built,” outgoing SADC chairperson Lazarus Chakwera from Malawi said at the outset, noting that Americans, Europeans and Asians spend only “a few million dollars” on building infrastructure on the continent.
“For this reason, we need to create our own development resource pools. We already have the natural and mineral resources, which should be more than enough to fund any project we need across Africa,” he said. he adds.
“The plunder we allowed the West to carry out in the Democratic Republic of Congo is a sin we must repent of,” he said. The time has come to show and tell “to the world with one voice that Africa is open for business but Africa is not for sale”.
Succeeding him in the rotating presidency of the SADC, the Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi made in his speech the commitment to invest himself, with all the Member States of the SADC, in the construction of infrastructures with a view to industrialization. fast in the sub-region.
Member States must “accelerate the implementation of relevant and related projects” with a view to achieving this objective, making use of new information and communication technologies considered as “instruments and catalysts for industrialization”. , he said.
All this is only possible in an environment of peace, pleaded Mr. Tshisekedi who, taking his peers to witness, again accused Rwanda of actively supporting a rebellion (the “M23”) in the east of his country .
“This summit is being held at a time when our country is the victim of cowardly and barbaric aggression by its neighbor Rwanda,” he said.
In a recent report, UN experts claimed that Rwandan troops have been intervening militarily inside the DRC since November 2021. But Kigali continues to deny any support for the M23 rebels.
In its final declaration of the Kinshasa summit read out in the evening live on Congolese television, SADC “expressed its concern and solidarity about the recent security-related events in the eastern part of the DRC ” and decided “to to inform the Secretary General of the United Nations next September on the sidelines of the General Assembly of the United Nations”.
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