Malawi President Joyce Banda arrived in New York on Monday, at 9pm (Tuesday, 3 am Malawi time) where she is expected to make her first appearance as Head of State and present her maiden speech at the UN General Assembly.
Banda will frist to the world leaders on September 26, 2012.
According to State House Press Officer, Tusekele Mwanyongo, the President arrived in New York through the John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport and was welcomed by Esther Mcheka Chilenje Nkhoma, the Deputy Permanent Representative, Malawi Mission at the UN, and Anitta Kalinde, Malawi’s Gender, Children and Social Welfare Minister, among other officials.
“The President is in New York to deliver her maiden address to the UN General Assembly. Whilst in New York, the President will endeavour to cement ties with the international community for their continued support of Malawi; to help ordinary Malawians deal with the current economic challenges and put Malawi back on the path to economic growth,” Mwanyongo told Nyasa Timesin a telephone interview from New York.
President Banda ascended to power on April 7, 2012 after the death of her predecessor, Bingu wa Mutharika. She is the first female President in Malawi and Southern Africa and the second in Africa after Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia.
State House press officier said President Banda will also meet global leaders in business, philanthropy and governments and Malawians in Diaspora to attract investment into Malawi.
The press aide observed that as the second female President in Africa, President Banda has become a leading figure in Africa and that her vision for Malawi has gained support from around the world.
“Apart from attending the gathering of world leaders, the President’s other main focus whilst in New York is to strengthen the support of the international community for Malawi,” he said.
“Her Excellency will be meeting with a wide range of potential investors to Malawi to promote Malawi as a place to do business. She has said, more than once, that Malawi’s economic recovery is dependent on private sector development through, among other initiatives, attracting more investors to Malawi,” said Mwanyongo.
This year’s UN Summit, which will be attended by over 193 heads of state and governments, will meet under the theme ‘Adjustment/settlement of international disputes or situations by peaceful means’.