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    19 Aug, 2021

    Malawi Vice President delivers SADC Public Lecture on Industrial Digitalisation

    The Vice President of Malawi, Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima on 12th August delivered the keynote address on promoting digitalisation in support of industrialization in the Southern African region at the 2021 SADC Public Lecture which Malawi hosted as part of the 41st Ordinary SADC Summit taking place in the country. The Public Lecture was organized by the Malawi National Planning Commission in collaboration with SADC Secretariat.

    In his lecture delivered under the theme: "Promoting Digitalisation for the Revival of the SADC Industrialisation Agenda in the COVID 19 Era", Dr. Chilima, formerly CEO of Airtel Malawi, said SADC countries needed to promote digitalisation to minimize disturbances to the development of industry as a result of COVID 19. He further challenged all stakeholders to ensure that recommendations from the Public Lecture are operationalized, including strengthening SADC Member States' capacities and exploring possibilities of establishing a regional centre of excellence on digital technology.

    "COVID 19 has provided impetus for innovation and development of technologies for continuation of business amidst the pandemic. SADC countries should tap opportunities for the challenge," he said.

    The lecture attracted a wide range of panelists from Malawi and the region, including Malawi's ICT innovator Ms. Rachel Sibande, Minister of Industry Mr. Roy Kachale-Banda and chair of the Malawi National Planning Commission Prof. Richard Mkandawire.

    Others included NEPAD – African Development Agency Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ibrahim Mayakiand Director of Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resources at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Mr. Jean-Paul Adam.

    Speaking earlier, SADC Deputy Executive Secretary responsible for Regional Integration Dr. Thembinkosi Mhlongo, expressed gratitude to Malawi's Vice President for taking time to prepare and deliver the lecture and to the Malawi government for organizing the event impressively.
    He said the lectures are a key tool for engaging with the public and other stakeholders on matters to do with the regional bloc.

    "The lectures are meant to provide knowledge and information to the general public and policy makers while also creating awareness about SADC," said Mhlongo.

    The 2021 SADC Public Lecture was financially and technically supported by the GIZ Strengthening the National-Regional Linkages (GIZ-SNRL) in SADC Programme, a partnership Programme between SADC, the European Union and German Government.


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