President Arthur Peter Mutharika on Sunday met Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Peoples Republic of China, Wang Yi at Kamuzu Palace where the envoy forwarded a donation of K6.5 billion from his government to Malawi for the purchase of maize as a response to hunger situation in the country.
Yi also informed the Malawi leader that China has also pledged to come forward to mordenise Malawi’s agriculture sector which is being restructured to enhance value addition and industrialization.
This is not the first time for China to intervene during dire times for Malawi. Besides fixed projects, China has helped Malawi in dealing with emergencies such as natural disasters and drought. China supported Malawi with US$500,000 under the China-Malawi-UNDP Cooperation Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Project.
This will help to support the poor and vulnerable communities located within Malawi’s 15 identified disaster prone districts. In addition, China also donated US$600,000 towards the flood relief efforts in Malawi.
In his remarks during the meeting President Mutharika noted that bilateral relations between the governments and people of Malawi and China stand to flourish further in many generations to come looking at how the two countries have benefited from each other over the past eight years.
While emphasizing that Malawi recognizes the “One China Policy”, the President recounted the many phenomenal infrastructure projects that have taken place since 2007 when Malawi switched relations from Taiwan to China.
“Our cooperation with China shall remain unchanged and we will continue to maintain the principle of ‘One China Policy’ and peaceful Chinese reunification.
“ Since the establishment of our bilateral cooperation in December, 2007, China has remained a true friend and committed development partner to Malawi, in a number of major sectors, including infrastructure development, disaster management and risk reduction, agriculture, education, defense and security,” he said.
He added: “China’s spirit of hard work continues to inspire the people of Malawi, as we endeavour to achieve sustainable socio-economic development.”
Some of these projects include the Malawi Parliament Building in Lilongwe and the Karonga-Chitipa road, the Five-star Hotel, the Bingu International Conference Centre and Presidential Villas in Lilongwe, the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) and the Matapwata Secondary School, and the nearly completed Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
China’s continued support to Malawi is seen – by economic and political experts- as a crucial aspect in unlocking the country’s potential as it moves from a predominantly importing nation to an exporting one as per APM’s prime vision.
In that vein President Mutharika reiterated the importance of China’s second phase of infrastructure projects which focus on crucial sectors of the economy in line with the import-to-export vision.
The second-phase projects include Kam’mwamba Coal Fired Power Plant, E-Government (National Identity) Project, Tsangano–Neno–Mwanza Road, Chileka International Airport, Mangochi–Makanjira Road, Lilongwe Dual Carriage Way, Upgrading of Phombeya-Makanjira-Nkhotakota-Chatoloma Power Line, Cancer Centre and Referral Hospital in Blantyre and new
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Office Building Complex.
“We strongly believe that the implementation of the enumerated projects will go a long way in transforming Malawi. The Kam’mwamba Coal Fired Power Plant will be one of the key projects that will drive the Malawi economy. It is, therefore, our sincere hope that all measures will be taken to kick-start the implementation of these projects as soon as possible,” said President Mutharika.
In addition, China gave Malawi a grant amounting to approximately US$16 million and a soft loan amounting to US $8 million for the Mzuzu Youth Centre, construction of five Community Technical Colleges, and procurement of Police vehicles.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :