The people and governments of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region have received with deep sorrow, the sad news of the passing of His Excellency, Dr John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania and Chairperson of SADC from August 2019 to August 2020.
In the passing of H.E. President Dr Magufuli, the people of the United Republic of Tanzania, the SADC Region, and Africa as a whole, have lost a great, committed and inspirational leader admired across the African continent and the world.
H.E. President Dr Magufuli will always be remembered for his development-oriented leadership, and commitment to SADC deeper political and socioeconomic regional integration. Upon assuming the SADC Chairpersonship in August 2019, H.E. President Dr Magufuli reiterated that, “The United Republic of Tanzania is fully committed to SADC’s vision, goals, principles and ideals, and Indeed, we always consider SADC as an integral part of our future”.
True to his commitment to the SADC ideals, he steered the Region to record a number of milestones such as the finalization of the development of the SADC Vision 2050 and Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020-2030, two blueprints that provide a strategic direction of the SADC Region in the years ahead.
H.E. President Dr Magufuli always sought practical solutions to increase industrial capacity and intra-regional trade in the SADC Region as reflected in the theme of the 39th SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government held in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania, “A Conducive Business Environment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, Increased Intra-Regional Trade and Job Creation”. To attain this, H.E. President Dr Magufuli urged SADC Member States to harmonise policies, laws, regulations and improve the quality of standards of goods and services, so as to increase the volume and value of intra and extra regional trade.
The untimely passing of H.E. President Dr Magufuli comes barely a week before SADC commemorates the Southern African Liberation Day on 23 March, 2021, a day dedicated to honour men and women for their sacrifices in the liberation struggle. In his SADC Day Message on 17th August, 2020, H.E. President Magufuli paid tribute for the achievements of the SADC Founding leaders and successive leaders and added that; “We should always guard against complacency since much still needs to be done in order to realise our Founding Fathers’ dream and vision”. This is a call that SADC will carry forward in honour of this great leader.
As we mourn the demise of this beloved son of Tanzania, Southern Africa and the African Continent, we pledge our strong support to the new leadership in carrying on with His Excellency President Magufuli’s remarkable legacy towards peace, security and socio-economic development in the SADC Region and beyond, and we trust that all Tanzanians will remain calm, united and peaceful.
On behalf of SADC and indeed on my own behalf, I extend our heartfelt condolences to the Magufuli family, Government and the people of the United Republic of Tanzania. We wish them strength, good health, peace and comfort during this period of great loss.
Filipe Jacinto Nyusi,
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MOZAMBIQUE AND
CHAIRPERSON OF SADC
18th March, 2021