The president called on the member states of the SADC to speed up the ratification of a key fund aimed at raising finance for industrial investment. João Lourenço was speaking after accepting the one-year rotating presidency of the SADC:
"In this year of presidency, we will try to work diligently and with a sense of responsibility, in order to tackle the great challenges facing our organisation, both present and future, in a united way. The issue of women and their integral role in the development of our region, with a view to building a society with greater social justice, will be one of the important points of our work."
Lourenço pledged to work on diversifying the sources of funding for projects and programmes at member state and regional levels.
He said he aimed to reduce the region's dependence on international cooperation partners, who he said were always helpful.
During his term in office, João Lourenço stressed that, in addition to investing in human capital, in order for the member states and the region to industrialise, there needs to be a serious investment in electrification, a considerable increase in the production of ethanol and in the production of food, and he added:
"The region must remain united in the firm will to guarantee an environment of peace, security and stability as fundamental factors for providing important levels of economic and social development in the community and deepening the process of regional integration," he emphasised.