Southern Africa has long tradition of solidarity: Kagame

17 Aug 2018 20:00pm
WINDHOEK, 17 AUG (NAMPA) – Southern Africa has a long tradition of solidarity borne out of the struggle for freedom, which is sustained today as a catalyst for progress and a source of inspiration for Africa as a whole.
This is according to Rwandan President and Chairperson of the African Union, Paul Kagame who was speaking during the official opening of the 38th Ordinary Summit of Southern African Development Community (SADC) Heads of State and Government here on Friday.
“We are infinitely stronger when we face the world as a common front and yet respectful of the interest of each country whether large or small,” said Kagame as guest speaker to the summit.
He said SADC countries have to continually strive to ensure their actions are fully aligned with the ideals of African unity.
“Attitudes that weaken mutual trust and antagonise neighbours can only slow us down. Nobody gains. Instead, we end up advancing the interests of those who benefit from a divided Africa.”
He added that there were security issues on the continent that went beyond national sovereignty, affecting other nations which called for corrective action and meeting these issues upfront to be resolved.
“It has happened before. Crises of security with cross-border implications have been settled by other countries or regional groups.”
Kagame added that the region had accomplished the task of resolving security issues in the past, including handling security issues in Lesotho, Madagascar and recently in the Comoros, and would be called upon again where similar action is required as was the case in Zimbabwe last month.
He commended the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on its resolution to implement the signed political agreement of 2016 while it is preparing for elections later this year.
The agreement signed by DRC’s ruling and opposition parties will deliver the country’s first peaceful transfer of power since independence in 1960.
He added that infrastructure development and the free movement of persons are key enablers for the youth to achieve their goals.
Kagame said collaboration among African countries was not a choice, but rather imperative, adding that domestic priorities are important and that such needs bring the region together.