The Inter Military Sports Council (Cism)/ East and Southern Africa Liaison Office (Esalo) annual general assembly (AGA), which Malawi is hosting for the first time, started on Monday at Crossroads Hotel in the capital, Lilongwe.
The assembly, which will run for five days, was opened by Malawi Defence Force (MDF) Commander General Henry Odillo.
Cism members are South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania, Namibia, Lesotho, Angola, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and Malawi.
Odillo urged the body to focus on organising sports competitions to make the grouping more relevant and reinforce interaction and friendship among member countries.
â€œWhile we are striving to have meetings and assemblies every year, let us not forget to pay similar attention to the actual sports competitions which are sometimes not taking place. Our male and female soldiers need to be kept active through organising competitions regularly,â€ the MDF chief said.
He said MDF attaches great importance to sports and felt honoured to host the assembly.
During the AGA, Lesotho handed over the chairmanship to Namibia.
Outgoing chairperson, Lt Colonel Jerome Baholo Matobo, thanked MDF for accepting to host the assembly at the last minute.
â€œDespite non-ending conflicts and instability in our continent, it is highly encouraging to see that we are still doing better in our region and are able to come together under one common goal of comradeship in sports,â€ said Matobo.
Namibiaâ€™s Brigadier General Karel Ndjoba, pledged to steer the affairs of Cism/Esalo to greater heights.