Malawi Pres Banda off to Africa—South America summit: Equatorial Guinea foots travel billl

Malawi President Joyce Banda on Thursday left the country reeling in trouble with the nationalwide civil service strike to attend he Africa—South America Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea on 21st and 22nd February, 2013.

The world’s longest serving President widely referred to as the true son of Africa, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasago has footed all the bills for Malawi’s leader trip to the oil rich West African state, Nyasa Times learnt.

Nguema, who has been in power since 1979, is hosting a cross-regional meeting of Latin American and African leaders scheduled for February 20-23.

Speaking to journalists on her departure at Chileka airport, the Malawi leader defended the trip saying it is important for the integration of infrastructure, energy, agriculture and sustainable development.

President Banda jets off; Courtesy of  hired jet  by Equitorial Guinea

President Banda jets off; Courtesy of hired jet by Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea

“To begin with the trip has been fully funded by the host nation Equatorial Guinea. Apart from that it is an opportunity for Malawi as a country and indeed the entire African continent to learn from our South American friends who are now rising up the ladder economically,” said the President.

Commenting on the on-going civil servants strike, the Malawi leader described the concerns raised as legitimate, saying life in Malawi at the moment is hard.

She further told reporters that she was compelled to go after weighing the benefits of the trip to the country’s struggling economy as she is looking for an opening of international market for local products.

“I’m aware of the problems we as Malawians are facing at the moment. I understand the concerns raised by the civil servants and indeed Malawians at large. I’m looking at ways to address the worsening economic situation and the summit in Equatorial Guinea has some of the solutions,” explained a visibly confident Banda.

Meanwhile, during the brief interaction with journalists, she also mentioned that the Equatorial Guinea government sent her a private jet which she has used to fly to the West African state.

Among those that saw off the President at the airport included First Gentleman Richard Banda, Vice President Khumbo Kachali, Peoples Party gurus led by secretary general Henry Chibwana, veteran politicians Brown James Mpinganjira and George Nga Mtafu, Traditional leaders led by Senior Chief Kapeni, Blantyre City boss Ted Nandolo among several others.

President Banda addressing journalists before departure

President Banda addressing journalists before departure

President Banda greeting Brown Mpinganjira and Mrs Ireen Chikuni

President Banda greeting Brown Mpinganjira and Mrs Ireen Chikuni

Veteran politicians Nga Ntafu and Yusuf Mwawa went to see off the President

Veteran politicians Nga Ntafu and Yusuf Mwawa went to see off the President

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