Malawi Pres. Banda next stop is Botswana, heading to Washington DC

The governments of Malawi and Botswana are set to step up their cooperation agreement during a three-day state visit Malawi President Dr. Joyce Banda will undertake in Botswana from March 24, 2013, State House has said.

According to a statement issued by Presidential Press Secretary, Steve Nhlane, President Banda and her Botswana counterpart Gen. Ian Khama will use the visit to hold bilateral discussions on wide ranging themes under their two countries’ Joint Permanent Cooperation Commission (JPCC). The first session of the JPCC was held in 2001.

Apart from the bilateral meetings President Banda will visit the Diamond Trading Company as well as appreciate activities on the Botswana’s Poverty Alleviation Initiative.

“Botswana has a strong mining industry, and it is likely that President Banda will use the visit to discuss how Malawi can tap into that country’s expertise in this area,” the spokesman said.

President Banda on state visit
President Banda on state visit

President Banda, currently in United Kingdom, departs London for Gaborone on March 23, 2013.

From Botswana, Banda proceeds to Washington DC, United States of America, where she has been invited for meetings with President Barack Obama along with three African states deemed exemplary democratic performers in Africa.

“The overall objective of the White House meeting is to establish a connection between good governance and economic development,” said Nhlane.

President Banda will also hold talks with the U.S trade representative on how the office can support Malawi to achieve its trade and investment goals. The meeting will afford Malawi an opportunity to discuss US support for Malawi to scale up its exports under the AGOA.

Said President Banda on the visit to the US: “I am excited with the visit as it will accord me an opportunity to meet with President Barack Obama and other US leaders to discuss opportunities for continued collaboration with that country on themes of democracy and transparency, and trade and investment. It is only through strengthening of collaboration with our bilateral partners such as the US that we can graduate from aid to trade.

“As you are aware, US assistance to Malawi in 2012 was US$ 253 million. The good news is that this assistance has been growing steadily over the years and there is a great opportunity for it to increase further in 2013.”

According to State House, Botswana and the US governments and the Corporate Council for Africa are covering some of the costs of the respective trips.

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