Commonwealth Secretary-General to visit Malawi

Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, is shceduled to visit Malawi to hold talks with political and civil society leaders as he embarks on a three-nation trip to Africa this month.

The nine- day visit will take him to Malawi, Rwanda and Ethiopia, from 21 to 30 January 2012.

Sharma, in Malawi from 21 to 24 January, will meet and brief President Bingu Wa Mutharika about current developments in the organisation following mandates from the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting that took place in Perth, Australia in October 2011.

Sharma: To hold talks with Mutharika

He will also meet other senior political and civil society leaders in the country.

The Secretary-General will also take the opportunity to discuss current political, economic and social developments in the country and explore the range of support, the Commonwealth can mobilise.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Mr Sharma said: “Africa region, with a Commonwealth membership of 19 countries, is a key focus of our work in supporting strengthening democratic institutions, promoting good governance and sustainable development. I always value these meetings where I update leaders and listen to Commonwealth citizens on what it is we can do to serve them better.”

He added: ” The developments we are witnessing on the continent and globally, with citizens demanding  more efficient service delivery in the fields of governance, politics and the economy are a clear indication that we can longer continue doing things in a ‘business as usual’ basis. This is a challenge to all of us-which we must face squarely and address.”

The Secretary-General will then attend the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 28 to 30 January, during which he expects to confer with Commonwealth leaders, and leaders of other international and regional organisations.

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