Malawi Pres. Banda tells Scottish Parliament: ‘Melody from warm heart of Africa is beautiful again’

Malawian President Dr Joyce Banda on Tuesday addressed the Scottish Parliament at Queensberry House in Edinburgh, Scotland at the end of her three-day official visit.

In her speech, President Banda said when she became President in April 2012 after the death of Bingu wa Mutharika, she found Malawi whose economy had totally collapsed because of misrule and utter plunder of state resources by the previous regime.

“It therefore became very clear that the first task that we had to do was to take measures to bring the country back on its economic path. I immediately engaged the British government and within a short space time we restored the bilateral relations between our countries. Very quickly, we exchanged envoys.

“At the same time, I had to put in place economic policy reforms to reverse the economic governance problems that I inherited. I therefore engaged the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank with a view to agreeing on an economic reform package to stabilize the economy which included devaluing the currency by 49 percent,” she said.

Joyce Banda at Scottish parliament
Joyce Banda at Scottish parliament

President Banda said her measures of reform “ were politically very risky but we recognized that they were necessary.”

She said the people of Malawi have been very supportive of the reforms and that they have noticed that some of the challenges that were there in April 2012 have disappeared.

President Banda said Malawi is poised for transformation “as the people had endured the dangerous zone and are just about to realize their destiny.”

Beckons Scottish investors

President Banda also said “Scotland has a very special place in the heart of all Malawians” as she called on Scottish investors to invest in Malawi because it was “Scotland’s African home”.

The President said “The melody from the warm heart of Africa is beautiful again.”

She called for the continuation of these “historic links” to the mutual benefit of the people of Malawi and Scotland.

“I look forward to seeing the friendship between our two beautiful countries growing and being extended. Let us continue our journey as friends and colleagues.

“Let us work together to build a just society; a caring society; and an inclusive society. It is therefore my aim to ensure that under my leadership, we continue these historic links for the mutual benefit of the people of Malawi and Scotland”.

First Minister Alex Salmond thanked the president for her address and highlighted the “enduring friendship between the people of Scotland and the people of Malawi”.

Mr Salmond said the relationship between the two countries was a “partnership of equals”.

Meanwhile, State House Press Officer Tusekele Mwanyongo said after the Scottish Parliament address, the Malawi leader proceeded to London to meet Prime Minister David Cameron at Number 10 Downing Street among other official engagements.

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