Malawi needs ‘3rd liberation’ says JB, jets back

President Joyce Banda says Malawi needs the ‘Third Liberation’which is a new path for economic rejuvenation in Africa in order to create wealth and jobs to empower Malawians especially the youths so as to achieve economic development.

Banda has since returned home Thursday afternoon from her working visit in Nigeria and South Africa where she carried out various engagements.

The plane carrying the Malawi leader touched down at the Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe from South Africa at around 12:20hrs and was welcomed by the Vice President Khumbo Kachali, among senior government and her Peoples Party (PP) dignitaries.

Immense success

Talking to reporters upon arrival, President Banda said she was satisfied with the various engagements she fulfilled in the two countries describing her visit as successful.

While in South Africa, among others, the president held bilateral discussions with her counterpart Jacob Zuma at the latter’s official residence in Pretoria.

According to Banda, the meeting was a follow up to the one the two had a few days after she was sworn-in as Malawi’s fourth president.

Among others, the Malawi leader also discussed with her host the need for the two countries to cooperate in infrastructural development.

The President said she was keen to develop the Sena Corridor and during her meeting with President Zuma she put to him that Malawi needed immediate support to develop the corridor as the country was awaiting finalization of the feasibility study for Shire Zambezi Waterway.

She said the two presidents also discussed the establishment of credit lines and how Zuma’s government could contribute towards the speedy rehabilitation of the corridor.

The Sena Corridor is Malawi’s shortest route to the Indian Ocean Port of Beira in Mozambique and once operational it would make movement of imports and exports easier and cheaper for Malawi.

The corridor links the southern Malawi border town of Nsanje direct to Beira Port.

“We looked at our immediate needs and President Zuma as you will recall came forward and supported us but in the medium and long term we discussed the possibility of South Africa assisting us as we move forward into the future in our economic recovery programme that we establish credit lines that will help us grow our private sector,” explained Banda.

The president said her keenness to develop the Sena Corridor is derived from the fact that infrastructure development is one important area within the Malawi Growth Development Strategy (MGDS).

Third Liberation

In South Africa, President Banda also presided over the launch of a book titled Africa’s Third Liberation along side Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Shangirai at Villa Arcadia in Parktown, Johannesburg .

And in her speech at the book launch, Banda noted that the current political independence in Africa had not entirely benefitted the people who fought the wars of emancipation across the region.

She said Africa needs a Third Liberation which is economic liberation and this can only come if leaders change the way they have been conducting business as described by Greg Mills and Jeffrey Herbst in their book.

“On our part, Malawi has already started changing the way we have been doing things because it hasn’t helped us much. We need to stimulate growth, empower our youth and women so as to make a difference in the people of Malawi,” President Banda challenged.

The book ‘Africa’s Third Liberation’ – a new search for prosperity and jobs in Africa, charts a new future for Africa, marked by accelerating economic growth and mass employment opportunities. The authors Greg Mills and Jeffrey Herbst argue that this new future is within Africa’s grasp, though governments will need to embark on a path down which few among their ranks have so far ventured.

And speaking to the press as she wound up her visit in South Africa, President Banda said she is indeed in agreement with the prospects of Africa’s Third Liberation and the more reason why she is not resting till she finds solutions that will make a difference in the lives of ordinary Malawians.

She said she brought with her Ministers and officials from her Government to meet with their counterparts in South Africa to continue what the two Presidents started when she became president a few months ago.—(Additional reporting  by Sam Makaka, Malawi News Agency)

People's Party women gave President Banda a warm welcome. Photo by Lisa Vintulla/Mana
President Banda arriving from South Africa. Photo by Lisa Vintulla/Mana
All is well: Vice President Khumbo Kachali tells the President on her arrival . Photo by Lisa Vintulla/Mana

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