JB holds bilateral talks with President Zuma

Malawi’s President Joyce Banda on Tuesday held a meeting with her South African counterpart Jacob Zuma at the latter’s official residence in Pretoria, South Africa, where the two leaders discussed bilateral economic cooperation, among others.

In a telephone interview from Johannesburg, President Banda’s Press Officer, Tusekele Mwanyongo told Nyasa Times that this was a follow-up meeting to the one she had with President Zuma a few days after she was sworn-in on April 7, 2012.

“Her Excellency President Mrs Banda paid courtesy visits to South Africa and other countries soon after being inaugurated as Head of State as is the tradition for a new President. During the visit to South Africa in April, the two leaders had discussed South Africa’s possible contribution towards Malawi’s economic recovery efforts. This was a follow up meeting on that,” explained Mwanyongo.

Malawi leader Joyce Banda after hold talks with South African President Jacob Zuma,

He said during the initial meeting, the two Heads of State had agreed that Finance officials from the respective countries meet to discuss issues pertaining to credit lines and investment, among others.

The Presidential Press Officer said earlier before the leaders meeting, Finance officials from Malawi, led by Minister Dr. Ken Lipenga, and their South African counterparts met to discuss ways in which Malawi and South Africa can cooperate.

“One area that received the officials’ immediate attention was the rehabilitation of the Sena Corridor, which is Malawi’s shortest route to the Indian Ocean Port of Beira in Mozambique.

“The officials discussed credit lines and how the South African government can contribute towards the speedy rehabilitation of the corridor in line with Her Excellency’s Malawi’s economic recovery plans. Sena or Beira transport corridor links the Beira Port to both the coal-mining town of Moatize and the southern Malawi border town of Nsanje, which would make the movement of imports and exports easier and cheaper,” said Mwanyongo.

He also disclosed that the rehabilitation of the Chiromo Bridge on Shire River, which is an important component of this infrastructure, was also high on the agenda.

At the State House meeting, President Banda congratulated South Africa on the election of Dr. Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma as Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission.

“The President applauded her South African counterpart, President Zuma and his Government for the commitment to uplifting the status of women as evidenced by the support for Dr. Zuma’s candidature at the continental organization,” said Mwanyongo.
On July, 15, 2012, Dr. Dlamini-Zuma beat incumbent Chair, Dr. Jean Ping, by 60 percent to become the first woman to head the organization since its inception in 1963.

During her meeting with President Zuma, President Banda was accompanied by Dr. Lipenga.

Malawi leader Joyce Banda after hold talks with South African President Jacob Zuma,
President Banda after meeting President Zuma. Photo by Sam Makaka/Mana

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