Malawi Pres. Banda hails Britain for support in economic recovery: Holds talks with UK Minister for Africa

Malawi’s President Dr. Joyce Banda has expressed gratitude to the Government of the United Kingdom for what she has described as “encouragement and support” extended to her administration’s Economic Recovery Plan (ERP).

The Head of State made the sentiments when she met Mark Simmonds, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Minister for Africa at her official Kamuzu Palace in the Capital, Lilongwe, on Tuesday.

Simmonds is currently on a tour of Southern Africa.

President Banda briefed Minister Simmonds on the progress made in the ERP and the general social, economic and political situation in the country.

President Banda greets Simmonds at Kamuzu Palace
President Banda greets Simmonds at Kamuzu Palace

She informed the Minister that her administration’s reforms are starting to bear fruits and that by the end of the year, Malawians should be able to see significant easing on inflation, interest rates and indeed stabilisation of the Kwacha.

On the regional level, the President shared with the Minister the security activities that SADC is engaged with and on the general state of affairs in the region. She updated the Minister on the latest developments on the Malawi –Tanzania Border Dispute.

On the global scene, the President shared with the Minister, Malawi’s priorities in achieving sustainable growth and development within the context of the global development agenda.

President Banda requested Her Majesty’s Government to prioritize issues of fair trade under the framework of the Doha round of negotiations, increased assistance to the agricultural sector and opening up of markets for African products in the G8.

She noted that Malawi has prioritized mining in the ERP and that the G8 countries are increasingly looking towards Africa as a source of raw materials for their production companies, particularly in the mining sector.

“We are aware that many multinational companies from the developed world have tended to take advantage of our weak mining institutions and exploit our resources without tangible benefits to our people.

“In this regard, my Government is calling on the G8 to sign up to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and to commit funds towards the strengthening of mining institutions in Africa if global economic recovery is to be achieved,” a State Houte statement quotes President Banda as having told Minister, adding that Malawi is committed to promoting a private sector led economy and enhancement of an open government and open societies.

“My Government is calling for a more democratic process that promotes aid for trade,” said the President, who also shared with the Minister some of our success stories in the economic recovery plan and call upon the G8 to support Malawi and Africa in such initiatives to ensure that global development becomes more sustainable and realistic.
“My Government has identified infrastructure as one of the pillars of the economic recovery plan. In this regards, Malawi appeals to the G8 to deepen efforts towards investment in infrastructure.

“My Government calls upon the G8 countries to develop a new model of engagement with Africa particularly in the area of infrastructure development. This will help our countries in Africa to be more competitive and thereby stimulate growth and development around the globe,” said the President.

Simmonds told reporters after the meeting that his delegation had “warm and constructive” discussions with President and her Government officials. He said they discussed what business and investment opportunities there are Malawi and how they, as Government would encourage British investors to come and invest in Malawi.

Banda was accompanied by Foreign Affairs and Finance Ministers, Ephraim Mganda Chiume and Dr. Ken Lipenga, respectively, among others top Government officials.

Simmons and British Charge d'affairs in Lilongwe and another member of the delegation listen to  President Banda speech
Susan Townaend, head of  southern Africa at FCO, Simmons and British deputy High Commissioner in Lilongwe and another member of the delegation listen to President Banda speech 
President Banda addresses the British delegation
President Banda addresses the British delegation

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