By: Obed Tshilomboji Muyumbe
During the SADC Day held in Luanda, Angola recently, the outgoing Chairman of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo was met with great anticipation by both his counterparts and citizens alike to partake at the 43rd Summit of the Heads of State and Government.
The event served as an opportunity for leaders from across the region to come together and reaffirm their commitment to fostering cooperation and development within Africa.
To underscore the uniqueness of this momentous event, President Tshisekedi
honored his counterparts, including South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, with prestigious trophies to recognize outstanding contributions made by fellow leaders within the SADC community and symbolized excellence across various sectors crucial to sustainable development in the region.
President Tshisekedi is known for his diplomatic finesse and dedication towards advancing regional integration.
In true statesman fashion, each trophy highlighted not only individual achievements but also emphasized collective efforts towards shared goals.
It is worth noting that these accolades were not mere tokens; they represented genuine recognition bestowed upon those who have dedicated themselves tirelessly to improving lives within their respective nations while
simultaneously working towards broader regional prosperity.
As part of this prestigious ceremony celebrating unity among member countries spanning from South Africa all the way up north through Tanzania, Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi received praise for implementing innovative conservation programs aimed at protecting precious wildlife habitats threatened by human encroachment. His unwavering commitment serves as inspiration for others seeking sustainable solutions to environmental challenges.
In another notable recognition, President Hage Geingob of Namibia was honored for his unwavering dedication to social justice and poverty alleviation. Under his leadership, Namibia has made significant strides in reducing inequality and empowering marginalized communities through targeted policies that promote inclusive growth.
Furthermore, President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique received acclaim for his resolute efforts in promoting peace and stability within the region.
For betterment of humanity, with a special focus on uplifting the people of Africa, a dynamic duo Misters Obed Tshilomboji Muyumbe and Mack Dollvins through their foundations Fondation OTM (FOTM/ASBL) and ArtVision Foundation respectively, donated 16 prestigious trophies to SADC.
The two foundations collaborated with shared vision towards forging formal partnerships with institutions across Africa starting with SADC itself.
Despite facing numerous challenges such as natural disasters and armed conflict, he demonstrated exceptional resilience while steering his nation towards a brighter future characterized by harmony and progress.
As for South African president Cyril Ramaphosa, he was recognized for his personal contribution in the following key categories:
a) Preservation and Promotion of Indigenous Languages: He championed various forms of language-based artistry such as literature, theater productions, musical compositions, and cinematic endeavors.
b) Fostering Social Cohesion through Arts: He championed programs that promote dialogue between different racial groups through various art forms like exhibitions, festivals, concerts showcasing talent from all backgrounds.
c) Support for Creative Industries: Recognizing the economic potential inherent within creative industries such as visual arts, design, fashion, and music, President Ramaphosa implemented policies to support their growth and development.
d) Education Reform: He recognised the critical role of education in shaping a more inclusive society and prioritised educational reform by focusing on improving access to quality education for all South Africans
regardless of their background or socioeconomic status.
e) Addressing Socioeconomic Inequalities: He implemented comprehensive strategies aimed at reducing poverty levels and
promoting equitable distribution of wealth among all citizens.
f) Promoting Intercultural Understanding: He encouraged dialogue between different ethnic groups, religious affiliations, and languagespeaking communities. He recognized the importance of celebrating
and respecting cultural diversity, and implemented initiatives such as multicultural festivals, interfaith dialogues, and language exchange programs to facilitate meaningful interactions that promote empathy, mutual respect, and appreciation for one another’s heritage.
President Tshisekedi’s awards ceremony showcased not only the outstanding achievements of these leaders but also served as a reminder that collaboration is key to overcoming shared obstacles faced by SADC member states.
In an era marked by global uncertainties, it is heartening to witness African nations coming together with a common purpose – advancing their collective interests while upholding principles of democracy, good governance, human rights protection, economic development, and regional integration.
*Obed Tshilomboji Muyumbe is Advisor to the outgoing SADC President Félix Tshisekedi