JB: No former Malawi president ever invited to White House

President Joyce Banda says her four-day official visit to the United States of America (USA),  coming at the back of an official visit to United Kingdom, has given her and Malawians a great exposure, adding that the country was put on the international map that will bring great economic rewards for development.

Banda made the remarks at a news conference she held in Washington DC, USA, as she wound up her visit in the country at the invitation of President Barack Obama.

“At my age I never heard President of the United States of America ever invited Malawi’s Head of State. We had our former Presidents in Malawi in the name of Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda, Dr Bakili Muluzi and  late Professor Bingu wa Mutharika; none of them was ever invited to be guest of President of the United States at the White House. To me it has happened: I first of all thank God and also President Obama himself to be here,” said Banda, adding that the visit was very beneficial.

Malawi’s Head of State who is also the second woman national leader in Africa said her discussions with Obama revealed a prosperous vision to her in the sense that Malawi will be transformed in the near future economically.

Obama with Joyce Banda at White House
Obama with Joyce Banda at White House

“When I met President Obama at the White House on Thursday, I openly told him our economic problems in Malawi, which I inherited after I was sworn in to head our nation last year.

“Obama to my surprise had already known our experience and economic woos at home. He told me that his government will continue assisting us to strengthen our bilateral relationship.

“Malawians out there, I will disclose good news about my meeting with Obama when I return home through a press release,” said Banda.

She said Malawi will be receiving more aid from America and that the country will be even more marketed to the international world by Americans, many of them who are business people.

“My visit was successful. I am returning home a happy leader,” said President Banda while appealing to all Malawians to appreciate her visits to various countries abroad,

Banda initially was in the United Kingdom for a State visit and afterwards proceeded to Botwana for a three-day state visit before he came to the USA.

“I will not stop visiting other countries, that is the only way to make our country known and also we need to be appealing for help from the developed world,” she said.

President Banda who was accompanied to the USA by the First Gentleman Chief Justice Richard Banda SC (retired), left for Malawi on Saturday evening.

— Benedict Chimenya writes for Malawi News Agency. He is reporting from Washington DC, USA

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