Malawi President Peter Mutharika leaves the country on Sunday for India where he will attend the India-Africa Forum Summit that will take place from October 26-29 in New Delhi, reports said on Thursday.
The three days gathering -expected to attract 34 Heads of State and Government from Africa and other continents -provides a platform for African leaders and the Indian Government give a new thrust to the age old partnership that was forged during African struggle against colonialism.
This will be the third such summit ever since it started in 2008. The latest summit was in 2011.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr George Chaponda said Malawi is looking forward to negotiate for another line of credit that will go towards improving the efficiency of water supply in the country, and also enhance the capacities of the Community Technique Colleges among other important issues.
“Malawi will lobby for continued benefits from Rural Technological Park (RTP), in terms of enhancing rural access and connectivity, rural water supply and sanitation, development of rural enterprises and small scale industries and use of new and renewable energy technologies,” Chaponda said on Thursday as quoted by the official Malawi News Agency (Mana).
He told Mana that Malawi will also confirm her desire to continue benefiting from duty free Tariff Preference Schedule offered to Least Development Countries and the country will under this arrangement be eligible to export to India 94 tariff lines duty free.
Chaponda further said under the India-Africa partnership, Malawi has benefited in a number of ways one being selected to host the India-Africa Institute of Agriculture and Rural Development (IAIARD) and RTP which aims at building capacity in areas of micro-finance, financial inclusion, value addition, enterprise development among others.
He said to date; the Government of India has extended USD 156million about (MK 85billion) through separate Lines of Credit which are offered in the country.
India has offered Malawi grants totaling USD 10million about (MK 5billion and donated USD 1million about (MK 543million) towards the flood disaster which the country experienced earlier this year, according to Chaponda.
The Indian-African Forum Summit provides an opportunity for Malawi to enhance trade capacity with the world’s oldest democracy. The summit will be held under the theme “Partners in Progress: Towards a Dynamic and Transformative Development Agenda.”
While there, President Mutharika is expected to meet the Indian Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, AFP reports that India’s presence in Africa is dwarfed by China, whose bilateral trade topped $200 billion last year — more than the GDP of the 30 smallest African economies combined.
Yet economic winds blowing across the Indian Ocean have warmed considerably, with trade swelling twenty-fold from about $3 billion in 2000 to $70 billion in 2014, according to government data.
From Punjabi farmers leasing Ethiopian fields to a telecoms magnate running a Malawi mobile network, Indian entrepreneurs have led the charge in Africa as politicians scramble to follow.
Keen to be seen as friend not predator, Delhi plays up a shared history that China lacks, citing 16th century maritime merchants who plied Africa’s coastline and the joint fight against colonialism.
As with China, Africa’s abundant natural resources are a draw for India, which imports 80 percent of its oil needs. Major African exports to India include minerals, metals, gemstones and chemicals.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :