JB delivers lecture at Texas University: ‘Nothing for us without us’

Malawi President Joyce Banda on Thursday delivered a lecture before hundreds of people at Texas State University in United States on how transformative partnerships are driving Malawi’s development.

The Grosvenor Centre’s 15th Annual Distinguished Lecture comes ahead of the 68th United Nations General Assembly scheduled to take place from September 24 to 28 in New York where the Malawian leader will make an address.

In her lecture, President Banda who is currently chairperson of Southern African Development Community (Sadc) made a call for transformational partnerships between Africa and the Western World.

“Our mode of partnership has been evolving. As leaders in Africa, and in the developing world, we welcome the gradual change in emphasis and tone,” said President Banda.

President Banda speaking in US
President Banda speaking in US

“The recognition that our relationships need to be multifaceted partnerships, not just instances of richer countries giving aid, and developing countries receiving it, with limited input into how it is used,” said Banda in the speech which she received standing ovations.

The Malawi leader said Africa is increasingly talking about moving from aid to trade, from aid to investment, and “about how aid can be most effectively structured to meet the needs of our people and to underpin our development. “

Banda said she welcomes what President Obama is championing that Africa and the West need partnerships that add value to each other and not extractive partnerships.

“Right now, the world is talking about ‘Africa on the move’ and African countries are ‘Lions on the move’ and the continent is the new frontier for development.  We, African leaders and African citizens welcome smart and transformational partnerships, and our mantra is ‘nothing for us without us’. We want to actively engage in homegrown solutions to address Africa’s challenges,” said President Banda.

Banda said at the UN General Assembly she will  also be making a case for the need to “shift” and create a new way of looking at partnerships globally.

“We need to develop more effective ways of working together. We all need to write the story of our transformation together. This is what I am trying to do at the local level in Malawi, but we need to find a way to translate this in how we think about development globall,” she said.

The Malawi leader said she welcomes partnerships that will help her realize her  vision of eradicating poverty and bringing prosperity to Malawi.

“Transformational partnerships can make the world a better place,  transformational partnerships can help us realize President Lyndon Johnson’s vision of ‘A Greater Society’,” she said.

From Texas, Banda travels to Montegomery, Alabama where she will speak on women issues in Malawi at Rosa Parks Auditorium on September 20, before proceeding to New York for the UN General Assembly on September 21

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