JB to make maiden UN speech and receive award: ‘Africa Most Influential Female Leader’

Malawi President Mrs Joyce Banda is scheduled to travel to United States of America this weekend where she has a number  of official engagements including receiving awards and addressing the United Nations General Assembly.

President Banda will address the United Nations General Assembly  in New York on Wednesday, September  26. This will be her first speech to world leaders.

Banda’s address will come on the same day Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is expected to address the General Assembly.

Western leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Holland are also expected to address the assembly.

President Banda: Heading to New York

State House press aide Tusekele Mwanyongo confirmed to Nyasa Times that the Malawi Head of State will deliver her first address to the UN General Assembly on September 26  and said it will be  “a very important opportunity” for the Malawian leader  to inform the international community her vision “ to eradicate poverty through empowering the people and wealth creation.”

This year’s theme for the UN General Assembly is, ‘Bringing about adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations by peaceful means.’

“ It’s obvious the President speak in support of this theme as she is an ardent of peaceful resolutions to various forms of conflicts. She has already demonstrated to the whole world her resolve to ending conflicts in Africa as evidenced by her stance on Sudan,” said the presidential press aide.

President Banda refused to welcome in Malawi , the Sudanese President  Omar al-Bashir, against whom the Hague-based International Criminal Court  (ICC) has issued two arrest warrants—one for crimes against humanity and war crimes and the other for genocide. She  made it clear that Bashir would be arrested in Malawi and turned over to the ICC.

Awards

 Nyasa Times understands that while in the United States, President Banda will receive an award as the ‘African Most Influential Female Leader of the year’ from the Global Forum on African Women In leadership.

President Banda will receive  the award Friday  September 21 where she will also be giving the luncheon lecture at Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

The forum will bring together a group of leading women in leadership from across Africa and the Diaspora.

The ‘African Most Influential Female Leader of the year’ award comes after President Banda , fondly called JB, has been ranked the most powerful woman in Africa and 71 in the world, by Forbes Magazine.

Banda told Nyasa Times in a telephone interview from State House in Lilongwe that she was “humbled” and “honoured” to be listed in the highly rated Forbes.

The women on the list are ranked according to influence, the amount of money they control or earn and media presence.

Malawi’s first female president following the death of Bingu wa Mutharika, told Nyasa Times that she is being motivated by the international recognition to continue being “servant of the people.”

Banda is also expected to receive another award from the African-American Institute (AAI).

Other programmes

While in the US, President Banda will also have an opportunity to meet the world most powerful leader Barack Obama. The American leader who is campaigning for re-selection will host the Heads of State a luncheon.

President Banda will also have a task to lure investors  as she will attend a Malawi Investors Forum organized by Standard Bank.

She will also be at an Investment Summit for African Heads of state at the New York Stock Exchange.

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